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Admiral Von Tirpitz long clung to tlic liclicf that the German submarine would be the decisive factor 
in the wat, but was reported to have abandoned this opnuon toward the ilose of the year 1917. In many 
quarters there is growing conviction that the war will be decided in the air. 


\iM>^ OF THE 





Published for 




Copyright, IQIC), by 

All rights reserved, including that oj 

translation into foreign languages, 

including the Scandinavian 

- o*^^^^^S"'Y OF CALIFORNIA 






"The Work of the Patrol Fleet Off the British Coast," and "Destroyers 
in Action," by Rudyard Kipling, from "Sea Warfare," by Rudyard Kipling, 
copyright, Rudyard Kipling; "Sea Fighters," by Henry Reuterdahl, revised 
from an article which appeared in Everybody's, March, 191 5; "The Army 
Behind the Army," by Lord Northcliffe, from "At the War," by Lord 
Northcliffe, copyright by George H. Doran Company, 1916; "How Armies Have 
Conquered Diseases," by William Crawford Gorgas, Surgeon-General, U. S. 
A., based upon an interview which appeared in the Nezv York Times Mag- 
azine; "The Atrocities of Germany," by Dr. Newell Dwight Hillis, from a 
sermon delivered at Plymouth Church, Brooklyn, N. Y.; "The German Move 
on Warsaw via Galicia in 191 5," by Stanley Washburn, copyright by Double- 
day, Page and Company, 1916; "The Russian Readjustment in Galicia," 
by Stanley Washburn, copyright by Doubleday, Page and Company, 1916; 
"A Big Man of Russia," by Samuel G. Blythe, based upon an article which 
appeared in the Saturday Evening Post, August 28, 191 5; "Von Hindenburg, 
General and Man," by William C. Dreher, published by arrangement with 
the Atlantic Monthly. 





I. Retrospect and Prospect. The original German programme fails — • 
They resolve upon new enterprises and change map of Europe. 
IL Middle Europe. German influence already great in Turkey be- 
comes preponderant in Austria-Hungary. IIL Berlin to Bagdad. 
Bulgaria follows Turkey and Austria under German yoke — Much 
conquered territory added to new German Empire — The work of a 
system, not of a man. IV. The German Conception. France 
crushed, the new Empire could be maintained. V. The Other 
Side of the Picture. The Allies realize their dangerous position, 
but as yet imperfectly 3 



I. In the Beginning. Crowded hours of the war's early days — ^A 
growing realization that this is a struggle between scientific savagery 
and civilization. II. Belgium. Her invasion shocked the world 
• — A step back to the Eighteenth Century — Neutral sympathies alien- 
ated. III. LouvAiN. The world horrified at German barbarities 
— All part of German plan. IV. 'The Lusitania." This incident 
demonstrated reality of calculated frightfulness — Poison gas at Ypres 
— Zeppelin raids on London and seaside resorts — Deportation of the 
Belgians — All seemed to Germans meritorious — Neutrals turned into 
enemies — Enemies' hostility increased. V. The Consequences. 
Germany regarded as an outlaw who must be reformed or crushed — 
A certain grandeur in the Germans' vision — But the nations resolve 
to prevent its becoming an actuality 14 



I. The Teachings of the Past. Mahan's book demonstrates value of 
sea power — War drives German flag off" seas — German commerce 
paralyzed — Exploits of stray German squadrons and cruisers — ^They 




are soon "mopped up" — British navy ready. II. The Conse- 
quences. French's army promptly ferried across Channel — Masses 
of colonial troops safely transported — British insular security' main- 
tained — America becomes Allies' arsenal and granary. III. The 
Napoleonic Precedent. "British sea-trade must be destroyed" — 
This effort aligns commercial neutrals on British side — Germany un- 
able to blockade Britain — Hence, the submarine policy — New 
enemies for Germany — German aspect of situation — She deceives 
herself — William II repeats Napoleon's mistakes — Driven thereto 
by British sea power. IV. Naval Encounters. German navy 
plays waiting game — French to look out for Austrian fleet and 
Mediterranean — The Goebcn and the Breslau — They escape to the 
Golden Horn and help to drive Turkey into war— Submarines sink 
Cressy, Aboukir, La Hague, and others — British fleet saves Belgian 
army in Nieuport sand-dunes — British squadron, defeated at Coro- 
nel, avenged at Falkland Islands. V. The Dardanelles. Rus- 
sia has wheat and needs munitions — Hence British effort to force 
passage through Dardanelles — A practically impossible venture — 
No land forces then available. VI. The Defeat. Geography of 
region — Preliminary engagements — The battle — Mines and gunfire 
force Allied fleet to retire — Churchill refuses to give up project . . 33 



I. The Familiar Story. Like Napoleon, Germany loses her colonies 
while gaining victories in Europe — They fall before British sea 
power — Togoland goes first — Again British colonists' aid is effective 
in the outlands — German world-commerce too is lost — German 
anger. II. Germany's Place in the Sun. Scattered German 
colonies in the East — Africa, their main field — The German dream of 
black armies. III. The Fact. HumbUng to German pride — 
Yet Belgium, Portugal, France are alarmed at German progress in 
Africa — Britain alone unmoved. IV. Japan. Her hostility to 
Germany — Germany her commercial rival as well as political op- 
ponent — Japan sees her opportunity — Reduction of Tsingtau. V. In 
German Africa. Boers disappoint Germany — Botha overcomes 
De Wet — Boers conquer German Southwest for Britain — British col- 
onies loyal, and successfully active against Germany — German 
East Africa alone holds out — Germany driven to concentrate upon 
Mitteleuropa 57 





I. The German Case. German desperation at end of 1914 — British sea 
power will throttle Germany — Germany's two submarine policies and 
what each promised. II. German Policy. Germany comman- 
deers her wheat — Britain declares wheat contraband — Germany 
retaliates by submarine and mine blockade of Britain — Both sides 
violate international law — International law knows not submarine 
warfare — Neutrals at first are forbearing and impartial. III. 
"RuTHLESSNESS." Extension of submarine campaign "necessary" 
in German eyes — ^They miscalculate degree of neutral complaisance — 
Lusitania Massacre arouses America. IV. America and Germany. 
The American attitude at first uncertain — Lusitania incident de- 
finitely alienates America — Influence of Tirpitz waxes, then wanes, 
then becomes all-powerful, to Germany's cost 79 



I. The Eastern Situation. The importance of Dunajec. II. Ger- 
man Tactics. Mackensen learns from French — Massed artillery 
bombardment — A mobile battering ram — Mackensen's "Phalanx" 
— The resistless German centre. III. The Great Blow. The 
three Russian armies — DimitriefF's position — His annihilation. IV. 
Brusiloff Escapes. Germans cross the Wislok, then the Wistok 
— Reserves from Przemysl save Brusiloff — The Battle of the San — 
Russians evacuate Przemysl. V. Lemberg. Russia's 1914 tactics 
reversed by Mackensen — Germany frees Gahcia — Austria is saved — 
As Tannenberg saved Prussia, so Dunajec saves Austria ... 97 



I. 1813-1915. Italy declares war on Austria — Italy's interests and 
sympathies — The popular decision a wise one. II. Young Italy. 
Her people ill-satisfied with her political position — National ambition 
to redeem Trent, Trieste, Dalmatia — The ancient enemy in Vienna 
is encouraged in BerUn. III. Italy and the Triple Alliance. A 
marriage of convenience — Her allies oppose — Italy's Libyan War — 



Thenceforth Triple Alliance is a dead letter — German victory would 
be disadvantageous to Italy. IV. Italy and the Grand Alliance. 
Her poor position as a neutral — Rivalry with Greece — She needs the 
Allies as friends — Policy endorses patriotic emotion — Other Allies 
fighting German tyranny — Italy's aim is largely selfish and im- 
perialistic — Italy's entrance creates new enemies for Allies. V. The 
March to War. Italy's anxieties — The embassy of Von Biilow — ■ 
Italy's demands on Austria — Italy denounces Triple Alliance — 
Popular enthusiasm — Biilow calls in Giolitti — He fails — Italy enters 
war. VI. A Great Victory. Efi'ect of Italy's decision over-esti- 
mated by the Allies — Their disappointment at Italy's failure to 
win immediate success no 



I. Another Sicilian Venture. Alcibiades and Sicily, Churchill and 
GalHpoli — The politician has his way — A foolhardy enterprise. 

II. Possible Profit. A tempting prize impossible of attainment 
— A colossal blunder — Britain attempts too much — Splendid British 
devotion to a forlorn hope. III. Gallipoli. The geography of 
the Peninsula — ^The three routes — Difficulties of many kinds — The 
Turk, a worthy adversary. IV. The Beginning. Hamilton's 
force— The French contingent — Disastrous landing of the British — ■ 
The ill-fated Australians. V. Suvla — ^The End. German sub- 
marines arrive — British fleet withdraws — The final effort of Suvla 
Bay — The fatally delayed advance — Failure is admitted — A suc- 
cessful evacuation — British failures at Kut-el-Amara and Loos — 
Results of Gallipoli 126 



I. After Lemberg. German aims in Eastern campaign of 191 5 — ^The 
situation — The Polish salient — Three phases of the campaign — 
Measure of German success. II. The Doom of the Empire. 
Czar's moment of strength succeeded by weakness — German 
intrigue and Russian treason — Approach of Russian Revolution. 

III. Warsaw. Situation in July — German armies advance though 
with diminishing speed and varying fortune — Warsaw doomed — 
Lublin falls — Russians evacuate and Germans enter Warsaw — 



Russian armies escape. FV. KovNO, Brest, Vilna. Where shall 
Russians make a stand ? — Kovno surrenders — Novogeorgievsk falls 
— Descent upon Riga blocked — Grodno falls — Brest-Litovsk aban- 
doned — Lutsk and Dobno fall — Czar takes command — Vilna sur- 
renders — But Russian armies again escape — German campaign 
slackens. V. Aftermath. Germans win through artillery — So 
progress is slow but sure against inferior artillery — Germans fail to 
get all they aim at — But France and Britain largely fail in efforts to 
divert Germany from eastern front — Fate of Warsaw sealed at the 
Dardanelles . 147 



I. The Battlefield. Importance of the Ypres conflicts^The terrain. 
II. The Messines-Zonnebeke Ridge. Roads and railways of 
Ypres — The Ridge — The Pilkem-Grafenstafel elevation — Strategic 
importance of the Ridge. III. The First Battle of Ypres. 
Allied position and plans — British ill-informed — French's orders to 
Rawlinson and Haig — Twelve days of fighting — British are beaten 
back to better position — German success creates Ypres saUent — 
Terrific losses on both sides — British force perishes but does not yield. 
IV. The Second Battle of Ypres. Position of both sides after 
the first battle — Second battle opens in April, 191 5 — Germans' first 
gas attack produces panic among French colonials — But Canadians 
gloriously hold their ground — Germans fail to follow up their ad- 
vantage — Allies are reinforced — But British finally have to withdraw — 
Ground won in First Battle is lost in the Second — Their gas-won 
victory costs Germans dear — British more than recoup their losses in 
summer of 1917 — Magic of the name, Ypres, throughout the Empire 164 



I. Germany's Western Strategy. She realizes Britain's unreadiness 
and prepares her line to withstand growing power of France — Then 
she turns to the East — Her initial advantage in weapons continues. 
II. Spring and Summer. Festubert and the British shell scandal 
— Foch's moderate success, and the Battle of Artois — Other at- 
tempts of the Allies. III. The Autumn Offensive. Battles of 
Loos and Champagne — Great artillery preparations — Foch and 



Petain. IV. Champagne. The French advance — Germans collect 
reserves — End of French advance — Heavy losses on both sides — 
Champagne a French victory, in moral sense — But it fails to save 
Russia. V. Loos. Foch and Haig cooperate — The French at 
Vimy Ridge — ^The British attack — Highlanders take Loos — But 
tide of battle turns against British — Heavy losses attest British 
failure — Sir John French replaced by Haig — Germany congratulates 
herself — Loos the preface to Verdun. VL Italian Offensive. 
No immediate important successes possible against prepared Austrian 
positions — Italians must be ready to withstand possible Austro-Ger- 
man drive — Exigencies of the terrain — In November drive on 
Gorizia front, Italy loses much and gains little — The dangerous Aus- 
trian salient is not taken — While disposing of Russia and Serbia, the 
Central Powers maintain their defence of other fronts i86 



Warnings from the Balkans. Turkey needs German help — 
Bulgaria and Greece must be impressed with the might of Germany. 
II. Military Aspects. Importance of crushing Serbia. The 
great Balkan enterprise both practicable and politic — The German 
programme. III. The Czar Ferdinand. Rumania remains neu- 
tral — Ferdinand of Bulgaria, a creature of Germany — Foolish AUied 
attempts to win over Bulgaria. IV. Constantine and Venize- 
Los. Their mutual antagonism — ^The BHndness of Allied states- 
manship — Greeks stand by their king — Their old rival, Italy, joins 
the Allies — Ferdinand and Constantine understand each other — 
Decline of AUied prestige in the Balkans. V. The Final Folly. 
Allies refuse to see Serbia's danger- — She is abandoned — What might 
have been — Sir Edward Grey's blunders 213 



Serbia's Problem. Serbia's excellent little army— Its strategic 
position — Bulgaria tricks Allies, to Serbia's cost. II. German 
and Bulgar. The lines of their advance — Serbs separated from 
their tardy allies — Disastrous forced retreat of Serbians. III. The 
End of the Eastern Campaign. Serbian barrier between Germans 
and Turks now down — Allies decide to hang on at Salonica — Costly 



British "side shows" at Gallipoli and in Mesopotamia — With fall 

of Serbia, Allies lose Balkans 237 


The Achievement. German success in 191 5 more than matches 
German failure in 191 4 — The Eastern situation disposed of — The 
Western peril arrested — Germany ready for another attempt to 
crush France. II. German Spirit. They see the facts, and are 
braced by them — Allies fail to realize German success — Germans 
beUeve Allies to be exhausted — Germans see closer to truth than 
AlHes. III. A Wonderful Year. German achievement in 1915 
compared to Napoleon's victories — Its extent revievs^ed — The ruth- 
less German's alternative, "Be Teutonic or perish." IV. Con- 
clusion. The Second Phase summarized — Verdun to be Ger- 
many's next great effort — The Allies' failure to grasp the real state 
of affairs 244 





By Rudyard Kipling 


"A Common Sweeper" — A Block in the Traffic — Submarines — 
Death and the Destroyer 257 



By Admiral Sir John Jellicoe 

Our debt to the past — Modern conditions different — And difficult — Hid- 
den foes, the submarine and mine — -Blockading ships now must stand 
farther off — Difficulty of preventing occasional raids — Germans never 
"search the North Sea" — Far-reaching activities of navy — Four thou- 
sand vessels — Active and useful all over the world — Intercepting eighty 
ships a week — Indispensable aid from mercantile marine — ^The Royal 
Naval Reserve — Heroism of seamen — Ship-builders must do their part 
— Dependents of lost seamen should be cared for — Ships have changed, 
but splendid spirit of sailors is unaltered — All eager and prepared to do 
their full duty 262 


By Henry Reuterdahl 

At the Admiralty — Enter Lord Fisher of Kilverstone — Rear-Admiral 
Cradock's Defeat — A Task for Vice-Admiral Sturdee — The Fight 
OFF the Falklands — It Took a Defeat to Awaken the Great 
British Navy to the Traditions of Nelson — The Fight off 
Helgoland Bight — The Goeben s esczpe — The Menace of the Mines 
— Sinking of the Audacious — -Why German submarines are not all sunk 
— The British Submarines — British navy needed rousing — The 
German's Coast Raids — German Naval Competition — Naval 
lessons America should heed 275 




By John P. Holland, Jr. 

T-^ • » • • PAGE 

Van Dnebel s boat — David Bushnell's submarine — Sergeant Lee's attempt 
— Fulton's efforts to interest France and England in his boat — First 
German submarine — The Phillips boat — The Confederates' Huxley — 
Her many misfortunes and final exploit — Holland's experiments at 
Paterson — The Fenian Ram — Her trial successful — Ericsson's projec- 
tile — Navy Department's advertisement — ^The Plunger — Description 
of the new boat — The Holland — Otto gasolene engine — Collision with 
lumber schooner — The Holland accepted by the United States Govern- 
ment — Simon Lake's submarine 28 q 


By J. Malcolm Bird 

American invention in arts of peace and war — The submarine — The 
torpedo — Our naval constructors — The Gatling gun — Maxim, Colt, 
and Lewis, and the machine gun — Barbed wire — Machine tools — 
Our ways have been peaceful — But now we turn to war — Our inventors' 
opportunity — Many minor improvements looked for — The Council of 
National Defence — Its activities and their usefulness — The Liberty 
Motor — Commercial practicability no longer indispensable — Standard- 
ized trucks — Shoe-repair truck — Motorized ice-factory — Army trans- 
port locomotive — ^The army rifle — The importance of small devices — 
The tank — Sperry's devices for aeroplanes — Tear gas — Illuminating 
bombs — Hand grenade detonators — Wireless telephony between aero- 
planes — Submarine detection — American inventors doing their full share 299 



By Lord Northcliffe 

Panorama of Somme battlefield — Increased efficiency in third war year — 
Excellent telephone system — ^The telegraph — The wireless — Motor- 
cycle couriers — Mrs. Humphry Ward's description should be followed 
by many others — An unrealized army — Each war-plane needs several 
mechanics — A war of machinery — Excellence of Lines of Communica- 



tion organization — Waste eliminated — The Salvage Corps — Clothing 
and boot repair — Oil and grease saving — Caring for army behind the 
army — Workmen overseas understand — German prisoners — Motor 
lorry trains a mile long — Standardization of motor parts, a desidera- 
tum — Schools for recruits — Real trenches, gas-masks, etc. — Toy bombs 
instruction in crater-fighting — Prisoners well cared for — Criticism of 
Clerical Departments — The quantity of necessary records — Caring for 
personal property of the dead 307 



By William Crawford Gorgas, Surgeon-General, U. S. A. 

Twenty years' progress in military branch of medical science — America 
can equal good records of France and England in this war — Tubercu- 
losis in French army — Ravages of disease at GalHpoli — Typhus in Serbia 
— Pediculosis — Small proportion of deaths from disease due to sanitation 
and preventive medicine — Conditions in our Civil War — Deplorable 
conditions in Spanish War — Army needs more trained medical officers 
— Typhoid has yielded to vaccine — Dysentery to care of water-supply 
— Epidemics prevented by efficient quarantine regulations — Unwounded 
men's physical condition will improve in army — Alcohol being elmi- 
nated 325 



By Dr. Newell Dwight Hillis 

The German soldier's iron token — Overwhelming evidence of German 
cruelty — The catalogue of crime — The Kaiser called his people 
" Huns " — ^The Philosophy That ProducedCruelty : What happened 
in Lorraine — Notes from German soldiers' diaries — Injunctions in the 
War Manual — Germany's University Professors: A broken man — 
Germany must be conquered — "Kultur": Rheims cathedral — A 
Better Day: The dying German officer — "This war is of God" — 
Vision of a Just and Lasting Peace 328 



By Joseph Chailley 

French colonies in Eighteenth Century — Neglect of colonies — The chance 
incident of Algiers — Marquesas and Gambier Islands — Morocco aban- 



doned — New Caledonia — Annam — Neglected opportunities — The Be- 
ginnings OF Empire: Dilemma of 1870 — Extent of French colonies — 
Germ of colonial party — Aims of colonial policy, 1871-1915 — Algerian 
affairs — Tunis — Annam and Cochin China — French Equatorial Africa 
— French East Africa — Morocco — Delcasse's methods and their result. 
Administration : The old way — Canada — Mistakes of the theorists — 
French emigrants and natives — England's different policy — Loyalty 
to France of native races — The French devoid of race prejudice — Success 
of French colonies — England support^ France and her colonies in Au- 
gust, 191 4 346 


By H. J. Elliot 

I. Pre-War Russification: War turned Russia from east toward south 
—Long ago she was dreaded in west — But her eastern expansion was 
ever the most characteristic one — First Muscovy won petty Russias 
from Tartars — Then Greater Russia occupied Siberia — Peter the 
Great won Baltic provinces — Poland was won — And the Tartar 
Khanates of South Russia — And Finland — And Transcaucasia — 
China ceded Amur basin — Alexander Third's Empire stopped at gates 
of India — Under Nicholas II, Russia sought ever the sea — What Russi- 
fication implied — Work of unsupported peasant pioneers. II. Laying 
the Ground: Subtle methods — Peaceful penetration m time gave 
rise to "spheres of influence" — Fictitious uprisings — Russia's railroad 
tentacles feeling toward sea. III. Penetration of Manchuria: Results 
of Chino-Japanese War — Russia thwarts Japan's plans in China — 
Results of Boxer RebelHon — Designs on Manchuria and Korea — Secret 
treaty with China — War with Japan — China's vain protests — A propo- 
sal from United States — Meets small favour — The answer — Russia's 
diplomatic defence of her position. IV. Celestial Obduracy Discip- 
lined: China no longer friendly — Not even respectful— But Russia's ulti- 
matum forces change of atttiude. V. Mongolia's Open Door: Chinese 
Revolution increases Russian influence in Mongolia — Disaffection of 
Mongolians toward Chinese Republic — Russia insists on Mongolian 
autonomy — China assents, so far as Outer Mongolia is concerned — 
Chinese massacre Mongolians — New Russian proposals go before 
Chinese ParHament — China temporizes — Russia breaks off negotiarions 
— Makes demonstration in Heilungkiang — China backs down and agrees 
to Russian demands — So Russia establishes protectorate in Mongolia 



— To be annexed at her convenience. VI. Tibet and Afghanistan 
Sacrosanct: Anglo-Russian treaty of 1907, respecting Persia — 
Removes danger of collision in Asia — Russian designs on Tibet foiled 
by British expeditionary force — According to terms of treaty, Russia 
must not concern herself with Afghanistan, nor must Great Britain en- 
courage Afghanistan in unfriendliness toward Russia. VII. The Parti- 
tion OF Persia: Persia must have fallen to Germany, if not to Russia — 
So Great Britain negotiated Anglo-Russian Persian agreement — 
Russia's financial grasp of Persia had become strong — Allowed Persia 
to have no other friend— Sought outlet to sea at Persian Gulf — Persia's 
American financial advisor dismissed on Russia's demand — Finally 
Germany's opposition was overcome. VIII. Ottoman Perturbation: 
Turkey dismayed at Russia's control of Persia — She had reason to fear 
Russia — Russia's main aim in World War was Constantinople — Her 
dreams — She had .built a great empire when war began — Its extent — 
What kind of Russification shall we see in future? 362 


By Stanley Washburn 

Russian position in May, 191 5 — Lack of munitions — And of railways — 
Concentration of German artillery — Terrible losses of Russians — 
Failure on one point forced general retreat 376 


By Stanley Washburn 

Retreat of Fourth Army necessitated by annihilation of Third Army — 
Ewarts never routed — Brussilov and the Eighth Army — The situation 
on the San — Russia "out-gunned," not beaten — The Eleventh Army 
undefeated — And the Ninth also — Russians took many prisoners. . 379 


By Samuel G. Blythe 

Officers who drank wine — Grand Duke's position and character — The 
teaspoonful of brandy — Anecdotes illustrating relations of Czar and 
Grand Duke — Sentimental nurses — The council of war — "Should 
Warsaw be abandoned ? " — Grand Duke and Rasputin 383 




By William C. Dreher 


"Who is Hindenburg?" — His own answer — Tannenberg — Half a million 
prisoners in half a year — Hindenburg's antecedents — Always a soldier 
— His schooldays — First smells powder at Koniggratz — In Franco- 
Prussian War — ^At Berlin War Academy— Always a student of military 
science — On General Staff — Professor at War Academy — At Prussian 
War Ministry — Study of Masurian Lake region — Devotion to military 
affairs. His tactics in East Prussia — Not afraid of taking risks — 
Follows up advantages relentlessly — ^The move to Silesia — ^Almost 
captures Warsaw — Withdraws to frontier, then suddenly thrusts vigor- 
ously and wins new victories — New feint at Warsaw covers other 
activities — "Winter's battle" in East Prussia — Hosts of prisoners — 
Always on offensive — His use of railways — ^A hard task-master — His 
tactics reviewed. Hindenburg the man — Proud of his lineage — Fond of 
his family — Deeply religious — His general order after the Masurian 
Lakes— "Give God the Glory" — Believes in justice of German cause — 
His character and characteristics — Vogel's sketch of his daily life — 
Personal appearance and habits — His reminiscences 391 


By H. J. Elliot 

I. LuDENDORFF, THE New Moltke: LudendorfF made famous by 
Hindenburg — The First Quartermaster General — LudendorfF legend — 
"A new Moltke" — Chief of Staff to General Von Emmich in Belgium 
— Earns Ordre pour le Merite — The Call from Hindenburg — His chief's 
ungrudging praise — Called "Hindenburg's thinking machine" — 
Dissents from ideas of General Staff — No respecter of corporate opinion 
— An individualist— Success of his plans — His many-sided activity 
— He moblHzes industry — " Ludendorff ist daf-iir" — His administration 
of occupied territory — His silence seldom broken — His exhortation to 
German people — Defence of submarines — Other pronouncements — ■ 
Mencken's estimate of the man — His personality — His origin — His 
career before the war. II. Mackensen the Indispensable. "The 
two hands of the Emperor William" — A field-warrior, no closet- 
soldier — His masterly execution of others' plans — A cavalry specialist — 
Commands Austrian armies In Carpathlans^ — His success — Contempt 



for Austrians — Burns Kaiser's message — Relations with Crown Prince 
—His character— No Prussian — No courtier — His military career. 
III. Von Falkenhayn the Aristocrat. Von Falkenhayn's early 
prominence in the war — A tireless worker — Verdun, his undoing — 
A mere Chief of Staff — The Crown Prince's military tutor — But no 
triumphs at Verdun — Soldier as well as courtier — Personality — Career 
before the war — His part in Zabern affair 406 


The Decisive Factor? Coloured Frontispiece 


After the Battle of the Falklands 17 

The Voyage of a Torpedo — I 18 

The Voyage of a Torpedo — II 18 

The Voyage of a Torpedo — III 19 

Bombarding the Turkish Batteries at the Dardanelles 19 

English Battle Cruiser, Queen Mary 20 

Guns of a British Battleship from the Fighting Top 20 

German Battleship Firing a Broadside 21 

British Battleships Bombarding the Belgian Coast 21 

Church on the Queen Elizabeth 22 

The Grand Fleet of the British Navy 23 

Bird's-eye View of a Man-of-War's Deck 23 

Battleship Firing a Broadside 24 

Some British Ships at the Dardanelles 41 

The Long Hard Road to Constantinople 42 

French Battleships at the Dardanelles 43 

French Hydroplane and Warships 44 

On Board a Cruiser at the Dardanelles 45 

The British Fleet at Anchor 46 

German Ship Captured by the British 46 

On Board a Transport Steaming up the Dardanelles 47 

French Troops Landing at the Dardanelles 48 

An Exploding Mine 48 

"HaveMercy,0 Devil of the Air!" 65 

Driving the Germans from Lake Tanganyika — I 66 

Driving the Germans from Lake Tanganyika — II 67 

A Convoy in the East African Campaign 67 

Capture of Mafia Island — I 68 

Capture of Mafia Island — II 68 

German Southwest Africa Camel Corps 69 

Camels En Route for Palestine 69 

French African Troops at Duala — I 70 

French African Troops at Duala — II 70 

Japan Strikes Germany at Kiaou Chau — I 71 




Japan Strikes Germany at Kiaou Chau — II 72 

Japan Strikes Germany at Kiaou Chau — III 72 

Burning an Allied Food Ship 89 

Why f/-Boat Commanders Do Not Always Report — I 90 

Why t/-Boat Commanders Do Not Always Report — II .... 91 

U-Bozt Interiors — I 92 

f/-Boat Interiors — II 93 

An English Submarine 94 

German Submarine Mine-Layer, UC-^ 94 

King George Inspects a Submarine 95 

Submarine in a Seaway 95 

A British Submarine That Passed the Dardanelles Mines .... 96 

In the Carpathians 129 

Austrian Machine Guns 130 

Austrian Riflemen 130 

Hungarian Corps in the Carpathians 131 

Skilfully Camouflaged Mountain Shelter 13 1 

Russian Artillery Advancing 132 

Dismounted Austrian Hussars Charging 133 

In the High Passes of the Carpathians 134 

Holy Russia — Mortally Wounded at the Dunajec 135 

Austrian Troops on a Forced March 136 

The Fall of Warsaw, August, 191 5 (in colour) , '54-1 55 

Italian Troops on a Transport 173 

Italian Alpini, Shortly After Sunrise 174 

Italian Infantry Advancing in an Attack 175 

Italian Officer's Headquarters 176 

Watching the Old Enemy 177 

Snow in the Italian Alps 178 

Bivouac on the Isonzo 178 

Two Italian Anti-Aircraft Guns 179 

Mountain Ramparts Guarding the Italian Plain 180 

Landing of the Australians at Anzac Beach 197 

British Bluejackets at Mudros 198 

At Cape Hellas 198 

Sandbag Rampart at Anzac Beach 199 

A Dardanelles Headland 2CX) 

British Camp on the Sun-baked Peninsula 2or 

A Turkish Stronghold 202 

A French Reconnaissance 203 

The End, at Gallipoli 204 



The Re-Capture of Przemysl — I 221 

The Re-Capture of Przemysl — II 221 

Scenes in Galicia and Russian Poland — I 222 

Scenes in Galicia and Russian Poland — II 223 

The Grand Duke and the Czar 224 

Grand Duke Nicholas, Russian Commander-in-Chief (in colour) . . 225 

German Army Enters Warsaw 227 

The Russian Idea of Transport — and the Way the Germans Handled 

It 228-229 

Burning of Brest-Litovsk 228 

Russian Prisoners Crossing the Vistula 229 

Hordes of Russian Prisoners 230 

Soldier of France, from Senegal 263 

War-Dance on the British Front 264 

A French Dragoon 264 

French Chasseur d'Afrique 265 

A British Infantry Sergeant 265 

An Australian Recruit 265 

A Belgian Infantryman 265 

A French Engineer 265 

Tribesmen of the Belgian Congo 266 

British Indian Cavalry 266 

Madagascar Native Kitchen 267 

British Indian Troops at Gas Mask Drill 267 

Spahis Reviewed by Their Colonel 268 

French Colonial Troops Preparing a Meal 268 

A Study in Pugarees 269 

Bayonet Charge by the London Scottish 269 

British Soldier in Mesopotamia - 270 

Return to Chaos on the Western Front 287 

A French Charge on the Enemy's Trenches 288 

German Barbed Wire 289 

Firing Line in Eastern France 290 

Red Cross Work in France 291 

Why the British Soldier Is Unconquerable 292 

Remarkable View of a Gas Attack 293 

War by Night 294 

Belgians Off to War 3" 

King Ferdinand of Bulgaria 312 

They Exchange Roles 313 

The Bulgarian Invaders 314 



Bulgarian Camp in Serbia 315 

A Wounded Bulgar . 316 

Two Good Fighters for the AUied Cause 317 

Bulgarian Transport Methods 318 

The Serbian Tragedy 335 

Serbian Infantry Ready for an Austrian Charge 336 

Exhausted Serbians at Monastir 337 

The Serbian Retreat, 1915^! 338 

The Serbian Retreat, 1915 — II 339 

Hard Pressed by Their Pursuers 340 

Serbian Peasant Families 341 

Sheer Starvation 341 

A Man Without a Country 342 

In Exile 342 



Germany's Former Possessions in the Pacific 58 

Germany's African Empire 61 

The Russian Front When the Dunajec Began lOi 

The Battle of the Dunajec, May, 191 5 103 

The Gallipoli Peninsula 138 

The Warsaw Salient in July, 1915 152 

Where the Russian Retreat Ended in September, 191 5 160 

The Environs of Ypres and the Messines-Zonnebeke Ridge .... 166 

The First and Second Battles of Ypres 172 

The Allied Western Offensive 191 

The Allies' Autumn Offensive in the West 193 

Map of German Trenches at Champagne — Western Half .... 194 

Map of German Trenches at Champagne — Eastern Half 195 

The Italian Frontier 209 

The Destruction of Serbia 240 

The Growth of Middle-Europe — A 246 

The Growth of Middle-Europe — B 247 







From August, 1914,10 the closing days of April, I9i5,the history of the 
World War is the history of the German attack upon France and of the 
consequence of the failure of this attack in that great battle of arrest, the 
struggle at the Marne. The gigantic conflicts in France, in Belgium, the 
struggles in Poland, East Prussia, Galicia, these were but logical con- 
sequences of the decision of the German General Staff to stake all, risk all, 
win or lose all, on the narrow front between the Straits of Dover and the 
Swiss frontier. 

When the German General Staff made this decision, sweeping away 
all moral and political considerations involved in the violation of Belgian 
neutrality, there was a clear perception by them that if they failed, a 
thing unthinkable of itself, it was conceivable that Russia would destroy 
Austrian military power and in addition invade East Prussia. Six 
weeks of immunity from attacks in the east, six weeks in which Paris 
might be taken and the French military establishment destroyed, this 
was the calculation of the German military power, a calculation that at 
moments seemed almost realized, but in the end escaped all realization, 
when Kluck turned back from Paris for Soissons. 

Thenceforth the war became a confused and Involved series of bat- 
tles, great in themselves but Indecisive In their character, and Inex- 
plicable to a world public still seeking a Sedan or a Waterloo and far from 
realizing that Europe was just on the threshold of one of the long com- 
plicated wars, In which exhaustion rather than military decision might In 
the end terminate the fighting. 

Actually, what occurred In these months Is unmistakable. The fail- 
ure of Russia at Tannenberg permitted the Germans to Ignore the eastern 



battle ground for many months, the lack of men and munitions on the 
part of the French and of the British enabled the Germans to seek from 
October to December to reopen the decision of the Marne. But in the 
end the complete breakdown of Austrian military power under Russian 
assault necessitated the transfer of German activity to the east and Ger- 
many accepted a defensive war on the west, while she sought, first to re- 
organize Austrian armies and then to dispose of Russia as decisively as 
she had sought to dispose of France in the Marne campaign. 

This is the story of the eastern campaign from December, 1914, to 
the autumn of the following year, from the Battle of the Dunajec to the 
escape of the Russians about Vilna. Germany endeavoured to eliminate 
Russia as she had tried to dispose of France. Austria's necessities com- 
pelled her to go east while there was still hope, even real possibility, of a 
decision in the west. The slender force that held the Allied line in Fland- 
ers was all but blotted out when Germany at last gave over her assaults 
at the Yser and about Ypres. The British army had not been broken, 
but it had been well-nigh annihilated. And many months were to pass 
before the first considerable contributions of the new British armies were 
to be made to Field Marshal French's skeleton battalions. 

But perforce Germany was condemned to the defensive on the west 
and in Artois in May and June, and again in Champagne and Artois in 
September, she had to endure great attacks, which all but opened a road 
through her trench lines and nearly brought to an end the deadlock in the 
west. Yet in the end her lines just held, her troops in the west by their 
tenacious and successful defensive enabled those in the east to win the 
most spectacular European victory since Sedan and to conquer more 
territory than had fallen to victorious European armies in any campaign 
since the days of the great Napoleon. 

Nor was this all. A feeble and amateur venture into higher strategy 
on the part of the Allies at Gallipoli, the effort to prosecute an under- 
taking which could not succeed and was as much beyond Allied re- 
sources as a promenade to Berlin, drew German attention to the Balkans 
and prompted German and Austrian commanders to resolve on a cam- 
paign which was to open the corridor from Berlin to Stamboul and to 


Bagdad, thus consolidating German power from the Baltic to the Persian 

Between May-day, 191 5, and New Year's, 1916, German soldiers were 
to overturn the political situation of Central Europe and to modify the 
markings of the map as only the soldiers of the Revolution and the First 
Empire had modified them in the thousand years separating Otto the 
Great from William H. Actually, they were to transfer from the realm 
of hope and dream to the world of accomplished fact all the visions and 
aspirations of those German patriots, poets, and soldiers who had longed 
to see the restoration of the ancient German Empire of the remoter 


In this new phase which we are now to examine we are to see the 
creation of one more of those mighty empires which from Charlemagne to 
Napoleon have been constructed upon the soil of Old Europe. But this 
new empire was in one respect markedly different from all that had pre- 
ceded since the days of Rome itself. It was not primarily built about 
or by one great man, William II was neither a Napoleon nor a Charle- 
magne. In certain respects, indeed, he did not differ from the least of his 
subjects — all were servants and workers in a system and in a machine 
which was itself the genesis of this new empire. 

It Is to Rome that one hiust turn for a parallel to this new German 
phenomenon which now filled Europe and carried its Influence to the 
remotest corners of the world. Before the war, German Influence in 
Constantinople had become supreme. When Russia turned from the 
Balkans to Asia in the last century, the British had ceased to concern 
themselves with the Sublime Porte ; they had, quite unconsciously to be 
sure, evacuated Constantinople, and in their place the German came. 
The army of the Osmanli had been reorganized by the soldiers of the 
Kaiser. Far down In Asia Minor, by the famous Cillcian Gates through 
which Alexander the Great had passed In his mighty Invasion, German 
engineers had pushed the Bagdad Railway, which was first to enable 
German civil administrators to reorganize Turkey while German soldiers 
reconstituted the Turkish army, and eventually to permit a German- 


led attack upon Egypt from Syria and upon India by the Persian Gulf, 
along the road trod by the soldiers of Alexander. 

All this was before the war. When the war came, Turkey responded 
to German impulse and the Osmanli entered the conflict as the ally of the 
Teuton. Even more impressive was the penetration of Austria-Hungary 
by the German influence. Austro-Hungarian military power had been 
broken at Lemberg; it had suffered defeats humiliating and complete at 
the hands of the Serbs on two fatal fields. Reorganized in part by the 
Germans, Austrian and Hungarian armies had gone to new defeats which 
lost Galicia well-nigh completely and included the impressive capitula- 
tion of Przemysl, where an army almost as large as that of Napoleon III 
at Sedan, laid down its arms. 

It was then that Germany was led, by force of circumstances but 
doubtless with a full recognition of the ultimate possibilities, to assume 
the mastery of the whole military establishment of Austria-Hungary. 
Austrian generals disappeared, even archdukes vanished or accepted 
honorific positions which only partially concealed their subservience to 
German generals. 

Austrian armies were stiffened by German contingents, German di- 
visions were introduced in Austrian armies, and the interpenetration ex- 
tended to smaller units. Here, in a restricted period of time, was a con- 
quest more complete than had been expected in France or realized 
subsequently in Russia. First his military establishment and then his 
political independence, so far as the making of war policies was con- 
cerned, passed out of the hands of the Austrian. Vienna gave way to 
Berlin; Austrian diplomacy, like Austrian strategy, was made in Ger- 
many; and Austrian ambassadors the world over, and conspicuously in 
Washington, became only the agents and servants of German policy. 

From this there was no escape. Under the assault of Russia, Austria 
had almost collapsed. Her Slav populations had disclosed a disloyalty 
which threatened extinction of Hapsburg imperial unity. The attack of 
Italy, soon to come, was to open one more deadly peril. Rumania, still 
neutral, continued to look over into Hungarian provinces with unmis- 
takably growing appetite. The Austrian German and the Hungarian 


Magyar, the elements which had ruled although they were a minority 
in the Austrian Empire, could only preserve the semblance and shadow 
of their ancient power by the aid of the German, and it was inevitable 
that the German, called upon to make greater and greater contributions 
of men and of money to the Austrian, should demand the right to super- 
vise the expenditure of both. 

Thus, in the period between the Dunajec and Verdun, we are to see 
the conquest of Austria and of Hungary by the German ; peaceful, logi- 
cal, ineluctable; stirring heartburnings and jealousies in Vienna and ap- 
prehensions in Budapest, but, despite all this, meeting no real opposition 
since none was possible, for if the eventual extinction of Hapsburg in- 
dependence was plainly forecast, yet to resist it was to invite Russian 
armies to the Hungarian plains, Italian hosts to the Istrian and Dalma- 
tian littoral, and Rumanian divisions to the Transylvanian marches. 


To the political and military assimilation of Austria-Hungary by 
pacific penetration there was soon added the similar absorption of 
Turkey and Bulgaria. Turkey, assailed by Allied troops at the Darda- 
nelles, and facing Russian invasion at the Armenian frontier, inevitably 
turned to Berlin for aid. And when that aid came, when the slender 
Serbian barrier was demolished and the road from Berlin to Con- 
stantinople was open, it was natural that the liberator should, in turn, 
become the master, and Turkish policy, like Austrian, become, in fact, of 
German making. 

Nor was the Bulgarian case different. Ferdinand had made his bar- 
gain with the German. He had his reward when German and Austrian 
troops joined his in Serbia and the Bulgarian people saw the odious 
Macedonian articles of the Treaty of Bucharest abolished. Monastir, 
Uskub, Ochrida, received his garrisons. Southern Serbia was joined to 
the Bulgar Czardom and, under German driving, even the obstinate Turk 
levelled the fortifications of Adrianople and ceded to Ferdinand that 
strip along the Maritza which gave Bulgaria a railroad to the Mgezn on 
her own territory. 


But in accepting this long-sought boon at German hands, Ferdinand 
had invited new and deadly perils. He had made a foe of Russia ; he had 
involved himself in war with Great Britain and with France; he had 
assumed responsibility for the destruction of Serbia and had thus made it 
inevitable that the Allies should henceforth make Serbia their soldier in 
the Balkans to the utter ignoring of all Bulgarian aspirations and in- 
terests. Against the new powerful enemies Germany was the sole bar- 
rier and bulwark. Actually Bulgaria had bartered her freedom against 
certain provinces and cities. These she could hold only with the aid of 
their donor, and while she held them she was exposed to all the dangers 
incident to the hostilities of the nations fighting Germany — above all, to 
the hostility of Russia, always the nearest and the deadliest peril to the Bul- 
gar State. Thus, in gaining provinces, Bulgaria had lost independence. 
And, in the nature of things, the Bulgarian army, like the Turkish and the 
Austro-Hungarian, passed under German control; its strategy, its high 
command were no more its own ; it marched and fought at the dictation 
of Berlin. 

The fall of Serbia completed the creation of this vast empire which 
tardily but emphatically claimed the attention of the statesmen of the 
nations fighting Germany. Uninterruptedly German will and German 
purpose ruled from Berlin to Bagdad. On the western front the Ger- 
mans erected against France and Britain a wall of trenches like to that 
which the Romans had in their later days stretched between the Danube 
and the Rhine to hold back the Germanic hordes. Eastward, behind the 
marshes of the Pinsk and the Dwina, broken Russian armies held the 
field. But these lines and the sea were the frontiers of the new central 

To Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Turkey — united to Germany vol- 
untarily, through the pressure of their necessities or the urgings of their 
ambitions, at the outset — there was added, in the period we are now to 
examine, a vast area: Russian Poland, Lithuania, a fraction of the 
Courland, and Volhynia, on the east; Serbia and Albania on the south. 
In addition, tragic Belgium was still under the German heel, as were most 
of the industrialized and mineralized districts of northern France. 


At the apex of his power, Napoleon had never ruled over an empire 
comparable with this vast region which was now under the domination of 
the German. And at all times the Napoleonic edifice was founded upon 
the genius of the man who had made it. Those who most hated and 
feared Napoleon could, even in the midst of their sufferings and dis- 
comforts, confidently believe that the death of the Emperor would see 
the passing of his empire, as that of Alexander the Great had crumbled 
when the great Macedonian came to his inglorious end. 

But this new empire was not even remotely connected with the per- 
sonality of William H. It was the product of a system, not of a man ; it 
was the product of a system that for more than a century had been grow- 
ing in efficiency and in power, without regard to kings or generals. 
Kaiser, Field Marshal, Chancellor, all Germans were but the agents and 
servants of this centralizing spirit and this vitalizing efficiency. The 
soldier had not completed his victory before the functionary appeared 
to begin the organization of conquered ground and the absorption of this 
new district Into the great central unity. 

Such, In the large, was the great Middle Europe, which grew up, fol- 
lowing the most marvelleous military successes since theNapoleonic era — 
which took shape in the period we are now to review. 


How much of this grandiose work was deliberate, how far this em- 
pire was constructed according to preconceived designs, how far it re- 
sulted from the accidents of military necessity, one may not say. Yet 
It Is true that, long before the war, the German patriots had dreamed a 
new German Empire whose frontiers should, in fact, include the regions 
which were under German direction when the year 191 5 closed. 

One may look backward into the yellow files of Pan-German docu- 
ments and find maps strangely prophetic of the Europe that is disclosed 
In the war maps of 191 5 and 1916. Northern France and western 
Russia, Belgium and Russian Poland, together with Holland and Den- 
mark, were included in the frontiers thus drawn, and the expansion of 
German influence through the Balkans to Anatolia and Mesopotamia was 


unmistakably foreshadowed. A German place in the sun meant Just this 
to the men whose policies and purposes had made the war inevitable. 

But the fact is far more important than the dream which preceded. 
Whatever the dreamers of the past — whose visions were neither idle nor 
divorced from industrious effort, by Christmas, 191 5, Germany had 
created this empire and by this date there had crystallized in Germany a 
determination to make the war map permanent. Minor modifications 
of frontiers, retrocessions to France, more remotely conceivable an 
evacuation of Belgium, these were possible; but the essential integrity of 
this Middle Europe from the Meuse to the Beresina and the Niemen, 
from the Belt to the Persian Gulf, this was the fixed war aim of the Ger- 
man mind. 

In this vast empire, with Its millions of people, German order and 
German system were to prevail, and the achievement of Rome was to 
be repeated. Slavs, Hungarians, Bulgars, Osmanli Turks, Arabs, all 
were to be organized in the German fashion; endowed with the real 
blessings born of German system, order, efficiency; the willing were to 
become partners, at least in a limited sense; the rebellious were to be 
crushed. Such was the German conception, Augustan in its character, 
such was the fixed idea of thousands and hundreds of thousands, the idea 
of the leaders and makers of a Nation, not the personal ambition of a 
single individual. 

This empire, comprising not less than 150,000,000 Inhabitants, geo- 
graphically compact, possessing within its boundaries enormous wealth 
in minerals, beyond the reach of sea power to threaten its Internal com- 
munications, touching on the one hand the bleak north and on the other 
the deserts and tropics of Arabia and the once-flourishing region of 
Mesopotamia, pausing only temporarily at Suez and at the door of India, 
became, in the period between the Dunajec and Verdun, a solid fact. It 
was the fact that the German perceived In all the time when the Allied 
press talked of his failures in Russia and its victories in France. It 
was the grandiose reality beside which trench losses in Champagne and 
Russian escapes along the Dwina were insignificant. 

When this empire had been completed, there was in the German mind 


but one more step necessary. Russia was for long months incapable 
of offensive campaigning, might in fact lapse to revolution or make a 
separate peace. Italy had been checked definitively. Britain was still 
unready, France only remained, and if there could be delivered against 
France one more blow, a blow as heavy as that which had been parried 
at the Marne, France might now fall, at the least might make a separate 
peace on terms which would not be too onerous. With France out, 
the safety and permanence of Mitteleuropa would be assured. Such 
was the spirit and reasoning of Germany when the period now under con- 
sideration came to an end. Such was the purpose in the German mind 
when she again turned westward to seek once more to reopen along the 
Meuse the decision of the Marne. 

To understand this period nothing is more necessary than to dis- 
miss those Allied notions which prevailed in that time — notions of a de- 
feated Germany, conscious of its own impending ruin and already seized 
with madness and desperation. Nothing could be more false. Weary 
of the war the Germans were, but no more weary than the French people 
after Wagram and before Moscow. But victorious they certainly felt 
themselves to be, and the proof of their conclusion was for them written 
over the map of Europe in colours that were unmistakable. The Allies 
were taking trenches, the Germans were conquering provinces. The 
Allies were regaining hectares of lost France. The Germans were over- 
running cities and districts so remote as to have only a vague meaning 
for the resident of Berlin or the peasant of Bavaria. 


Another side of the picture there certainly was. In this period Ger- 
many failed to get an immediate decision in the east as she had failed at the 
Marne to dispose of France. A British army and a British nation were 
gathering strength each hour and each day, and this strength was to be 
exerted in unsuspected violence in a time that was to come. France 
was not broken in spirit and was stronger in reserves than the Germans 
suspected. Russia was to deal rude blows in a campaign further in the 
future than Germany could believe the war would extend. 


Indeed, the very magnitude of the German success, coupled with the 
manner in which it had been won and the fashion in which German 
methods had aroused the hostile nations, had made it inevitable that the 
war should continue until there was an absolute German success, a con- 
quest of Europe that deprived the conquered of all power of resistance, 
or a dissolution of this enormous empire and a restoration of the balance 
of power. France perceived clearly that without this dissolution she 
would pass to the rank of a vassal of Germany. Italy saw that her 
position would be exactly the same. Britain recognized that her im- 
perial edifice was doomed and her domestic security abolished if German 
power ruled on the Egyptian frontier and on the Belgian coast. 

The magnitude of German victories in 1915, together with the 
brutality and violence of German methods in 1914 and 191 5, at one time 
aroused the apprehensions and steeled the determination of her enemies. 
But in the summer and autumn of 1915 the Allies were still incapable of 
freeing France or saving Serbia. They felt themselves victorious be- 
cause they knew they were not beaten, but with the same spirit the Ger- 
man was able to look upon unmistakable conquests and undeniable, 

We see then, in all this period, Allied weakness. We shall see in- 
eptitude and folly which made the German success possible. We shall 
see a total inability to grasp the idea of Middle Europe which permitted 
British armies to be wasted at Gallipoli, when these armies might have 
saved Serbia at the Danube and prevented the opening of the road from 
Berlin to Bagdad. Serbia was sacrificed, Bulgaria lost, Greece alienated 
by Allied blindness;the people of the Allied countries themselves were left 
in the dark as to the real nature of this new German Empire which was 
building, and, having long had their attention fixed upon trench lines and 
the most insignificant of local successes, woke suddenly to find a victor- 
ious Germany at Suez and in Bagdad, in Warsaw, Lemberg, and Bel- 
grade, while despite their own desperate efforts, Lille, St. Quentin, 
and Laon contained Teutonic garrisons, and German shells still fell in 
Rheims, Soissons, Arras, and Ypres, 

More than this; at the moment they perceived these things, the 


peoples of the Allied nations were to feel the weight of one more German 
offensive, more terrible than all that had preceded, and realize that, so 
far from approaching victory, they were still in danger of defeat. 

Such briefly is the period which lies between the Battle of the 
Dunajec and the German attack upon Verdun; the period in which Ger- 
many — lacking a Napoleon in the field or a Bismarck in the cabinet, by 
virtue of the collective strength of its people, through the efficiency of 
its political system, and served always by the devotion of its sons — 
marched from conquest to conquest and from victory to victory until the 
German will was law alike in the capitals of Hohenzollern and Haps- 
burg, in the seats of power of the rulers of the ancient Caliphate and of 
the contemporary Osmanli Empire. 




The first months of the war were marked by such desperate fighting, 
by battles unequalled in the magnitude of the numbers engaged and the 
losses incurred — battles upon whose issue hung the fate of continents and 
the destiny of nations — that all mankind looked upon the amazing 
cycle of events, the early French defeats in Alsace-Lorraine, Belgium, 
and northern France; upon the Marne, the Aisne, and the Yser, with 
breathless attention, having little thought for the larger questions in- 
volved or the permanent meaning of this conflict in human history. 

No one who lived through the days from the German attack upon 
Liege to the final defeat of the assault before Ypres, who read day by 
day the bulletins reporting battles greater than Austerlitz, Gettysburg, 
or Leipzig, can forget the tension and the strain of those hours, hours 
which, regard being had for modern means of communication, were 
probably the most interesting and the most crowded in all human his- 
tory. Africa, Asia, the remote Pacific, and the little-known Indian 
Ocean furnished daily some new glory of heroism and some fresh horror 
of destruction. 

From the moment when the army of Kluck emerged out of the cloud 
of official darkness, almost within sight of Paris, to the time when the 
Flanders struggle descended to a deadlock amidst fog and mud, the whole 
world viewed the German eruption as a super-Napoleonic drama. All 
the memories of the great struggles of a century before were translated 
into fact and familiar history repeated itself upon the pages of the daily 

But when at last winter and exhaustion had temporarily stayed the 
conflict, when artillery alone continued the battle from Switzerland to 


the North Sea, and the contest was transferred to the remote Car- 
pathians and to Poland, there came a transformation in the aspect of the 
war to the minds of mankind generally. It no longer seemed one more 
of the struggles familiar in modern history — a struggle like those Europe 
fought against Charles V, against Louis XIV, against Napoleon — a 
struggle for the preservation of the balance of power and the prevention 
of European supremacy by a single state or monarch. Rather, it took on 
the character of the remoter struggles of the Latin world against the bar- 
barians coming down out of the North ; of a struggle between savagery 
— this time equipped with all the weapons of science — and unor- 
ganized civilization. First for the belligerents, directly assailed by Ger- 
many, then for the greater neutrals, and finally for more distant nations, 
the war assumed the appearance of a struggle for existence — a struggle 
against a common peril — until the roll of nations fighting Germany be- 
came a score, and, at the moment these lines are written, countries as 
remote and little concerned with European rivalries as Siam and Liberia 
have declared war against the German Empire. 


This transformation was due exclusively to the spirit disclosed by the 
German people in making war and the methods employed by them in 
prosecuting it ; and the revelation of this spirit and this method had be- 
gun with the invasion of Belgium. 

The invasion of Belgium had been a profound shock to the whole 
world beyond the German frontiers. The phrase of the Chancellor, 
describing the German guarantee to observe the neutrality of Belgium 
as a "scrap of paper," instantly gained and steadily held a place in the 
memory of all the observers of a world conflagration. It was naturally 
coupled with his other assertion that the Invasion was, in itself, a 
wrong, but that Germany stood in the state of necessity, and German 
necessity knew no law. 

And had there been no subsequent horrors, no crimes against hu- 
manity and civilization ; had the German armies conducted themselves in 
Belgian territory with every regard for the rights and personal safety of 


the Belgian people, the invasion of Belgium would still have stood as a 
reproach and a blot, because it was everjrwhere recognized as a violation 
of a national pledge and the invasion of a weak state by a powerful 
empire, not as an act of self-defence, but as a detail in a plan for the 
conquest of France. 

With the invasion of Belgium a whole system of thought and of 
policy fell. To neutralize the weak nations, to give them the opportun- 
ity to preserve their independence and to live their own lives, withdrawn 
from the quarrels of the great, had been a part of Nineteenth-Century 
political morality. The maps of the ante-bellum period, solemnly shad- 
ing Switzerland and Belgium in neutral gray as areas withdrawn from 
European strife, were not merely accepted as foundations of the new 
international doctrine, but as half-way marks on the road to a complete 
neutralizing of all states by the mutual accommodation of all old 
jealousies and the construction of a new confederation of the nations of 
the world. It was accepted as a beginning of the era of world peace by 
world consent. 

When Germany invaded Belgium all this edifice went instantly to 
dust and ashes. Of a sudden the world stepped back into the Eigh- 
teenth Century, to the age of Napoleon, of Frederick the Great. Anew 
there was formulated the doctrine that force was the sole consideration, 
that small states had no rights when great nations were on the march, and 
that the lesser nationalities must again bow before the will of the strong 
nation armed. 

In all neutral nations the invasion of Belgium deprived Germany of 
any moral advantage at the outset of the war. Her agents might pro- 
test, her champions argue, her statesmen explain; to all these explana- 
tions the world turned a deaf ear. The attack upon Belgium was per- 
ceived the world over to be an act of violence, not merely breaking down 
Belgian integrity, but also opening a breach in that wall which recent 
decades had sought to erect to prevent a relapse to the old, unhappy 
times of other centuries. There was a sense that, at a single bound, by 
reason of German policy, the world had leaped backward to the age of 
wars of conquest. 


This torpedo left its tube on a British ship only a traction of a second ago. It is just taking the water, with 

propeller blades already rapidly whirling 


A white streak like the two shown in this picture strikes terror to the hearts of modern sea-farers. It is the tell- 
tale wake of a torpedo. In this case two have been fired from the United States battleship Texas while at target prac- 
tice, and the picture has been taken from her deck. The white water is foam churned up by the rapidly revolving 
blades of the torpedo's propeller. 


A head-on view of a torpedo, taken from the target. Needless to say this one was fired for practice only and is 
unloaded, else camera and photographer would have been blown into a million fragments an instant after the click 
of the shutter. In target practice the unloaded torpedoes are picked up, lor subsequent use, when their power is ex- 


This picture was taken in the spring of 1915 from the deck of the British dreadnought Canofus at the Dardanelles. A 
12-inch gun has just been discharged in answer to the fire from the Turkish batteries. This ship has since been lost 


the Battle iif Jutland, May 31. I<)i6. with about 1,000 men. She had eight 135-inch guns and three 

torpedo tubes. Her armour-belt was 9 inches thick. Her displacement was 38,850 tons, her indicated horse-power 
78,000, and her speed 28 knots. 

Copyright by Amtruan i'rfa .hjocialion 


This is the stern of the ship. Two turrets are seen, one elevated slightly above the other. There are two big 
guns in each. The turrets revolve so the guns may be aimed in almost any direction. The odd-looking circles strung 
on wires are part of the "wireless" equipment. 


Copyright by J ntcf national AV-^j ^ifvtti 


The land and naval forces were here able to cooperate to excellent effect in the early days of the war. "The first 
blow (in the Battle of Flanders) fell upon the seacoast south of Ostend. ... A British fleet took station beyond 
the dunes and with its heavy artillery beat down the German advance after a slaughter which was terrible." 

^A JL 



The ships go forward in double column, perfectly aligned, with the flagship. Iron Duke, leading. She is a super- 
dreadnought, and carries ten I3j-inch guns, twelve 6-inch guns, and five torpedo tubes; her displacement is 25,000 
tons; her maximum speed 21 knots; and her armour-belt is extraordinarily thick — n^ inches. 

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While there was no other question than that of abstract right, while 
men were still thrilled with the reports of Belgian resistance and not yet 
aware of what German soldiers were doing in the Belgian Kingdom, the 
judgment of the world ran on the German attack upon Belgium, and in 
the Americas, as elsewhere, public sentiment turned against Germany. 
This revulsion of feeling was to have a profound effect in the future. It 
was to prove the first in the long series of steps by which the American 
nation marched toward conflict with Germany, because it felt that Ger- 
many had become the common danger for all democratic nations and 
equally the enemy of all nations which served republican ideals. 

It is not an exaggeration to say that the German General Staff, when 
it decided to ignore moral considerations and invade Belgium, insured 
the verdict of mankind against Germany — a verdict possibly of no im- 
mediate weight if Germany won the war, but a verdict bound to have 
material as well as spiritual consequences if the gamble turned out 
badly and the passage of Belgium were not followed by the arrival in 
Paris. Thus we must recognize in the invasion of Belgium the first and 
the most important in that long series of events which were to end by 
alienating from Germany the sympathy of nearly the whole civilized 
world and enlisting one after another of the nations against her, until the 
United States, one of the most remote and the least materially interested 
of all, should draw its sword and send an expeditionary army to fight the 
German hosts upon European soil. 


But the invasion of Belgium promptly became a minor episode. 
Soon the press of the world was filled with the stories of what German 
armies were doing in Belgium and northern France. Tales of cities 
burned, women and children murdered, women outraged, civilians ex- 
ecuted; reports of the reign of terror wherever German armies pene- 
trated, became the common property of all educated men and women the 
world over. 

As a culmination to these horrors there came presently the tragic 
story of the massacre and burning at Louvain. Of itself, Louvain is in- 


teresting and significant only as a larger and more clearly perceived ex- 
ample of what took place in scores of French and Belgian villages, towns, 
and cities. 

The origin of the Louvain crime remains obscure. Apparently Ger- 
man troops, returning from a fight with the Belgians to the north, were 
mistaken by other German troops for the enemy and fired upon. This 
firing was attributed to Belgian civilians and thereupon began a re- 
prisal worthy of the best achievement in infamy of any age. 

In the slaughter that followed either age nor sex nor condition was 
respected. Women were turned over to the soldiers to wreak their will 
as a matter of discipline, children were slain, old men and young mas- 
sacred, while whole quarters of the town were consigned to flames. 

What was now done in Louvain had already been done in many other 
Belgian communities. What was sought was not to be mistaken. Bel- 
gium had resisted, the Belgian soldiers had fought instead of dispersing 
when German armies had sought passage through their country. A re- 
volt in Belgium, barely possible now that the mass of the German armies 
had passed on, might threaten the German cause. The remedy was 
found in resort to a system of terrorism, to that peculiarly German 
method which has been identified by all other races as "Ruthless- 


Louvain was only a symbol. Actually the same spirit was disclosed 
m scores of places and upon many thousands of men and women. Al- 
though Louvain was long closed to the inquiring witnesses of neutral 
nations, the German retreat after the Mame permitted the investiga- 
tion of other towns where the method had been employed. In Lorraine, 
in Champagne, wretched survivors and smoking ruins of Sermaize, of 
Gerbeviller, of a score of villages and towns, equally testified to Ger- 
man presence and German method. 

When the German armies crossed the French frontiers they were 
preceded by hosts of fleeing Belgians, already crazed by the knowledge 
of what had taken place in towns the Germans had occupied. All during 
the Mame campaign the roads behind the battle lines, were filled with 
the women and children, with old men and young, fleeing as the Latin. 


world had fled before another barbarism which also had a Teutonic 
origin and similarly employed the system of ruthlessness. 

Nor were brutality to helpless human beings and violence to women 
the sole characteristics; not only were towns burned to terrorize dis- 
tricts, to impress upon the French mind the power and the force of an 
unconquerable Germany; but where the invaders did not destroy they 
defiled. The homes of the poor, the bedrooms of the insignificant, quite 
as much as the chateaux of the rich and the residences of the prosperous, 
were made the depositories of filth; and the most high-placed officers 
found pleasure in committing offences against common decency which in 
children are cured by corporal punishment. 

In all this there was only in minor part the evidence of that lack of re- 
straint which belongs to soldiery and has made invasion, even in civil- 
ized warfare, a curse and a horror. The worst crimes committed were 
committed not by brutes escaping from discipline, but by soldiers obey- 
ing orders. They were not accidents of war, but details in a carefully 
compiled plan of making war. They expressed the conclusion of the 
German mind that the way to conquer a foe was to terrify him, that the 
way to rob his arm of strength and his spirit of determination was to 
burn, to rape, to rob, and to murder, until the spirit broke and the soldier 
laid down his arms to escape a continuation of horrors wreaked upon his 
women and children. 

It was but another manifestation of the same spirit which prompted 
the Germans, when the Mame was lost and the retreat had come, to 
turn their artillery against the cathedral at Rheims and begin the sys- 
tematic destruction of this glorious monument of an ancient world, 
a destruction which was to continue more than three years. To murder 
the weak, to dishonour the helpless, to destroy the beautiful ; such, it 
seemed, were to the German mind necessary steps in conquering a foe 
in the field and destroying an army and a nation. 

IV. The "Lusitania" 

The reports of German "terribleness" in Belgium and France were 
not immediately accepted by the outside world. Even England long 


remained incredulous, and not until the Bryce Report set forth the full 
and duly-proven evidence did the British public accept the testimony of 
its Belgian and French Allies, confirmed by the reports of British 
soldiers in Belgium. 

Even this testimony might have been rejected by neutral nations had 
not the invasion of Belgium undermined German credit in the world and 
the subsequent sinking of the Lusitania served to confirm in the minds 
of men all the worst that had been alleged against German soldiery in 
Belgium and France. The narration of the Lusitania Massacre belongs 
to the discussion of America's relation to the war, but the moral effect 
must be emphasized in any discussion of the transformation of the war 
due to German methods. 

This murder of some hundreds of women, children, and non-com- 
batants, many of them citizens of neutral nations; their slaughter in the 
open sunlight of the whole world, was an offence that could neither be 
concealed nor explained. The echo of German songs wherever Germans 
gathered, celebrating this Lusitania killing, served to demonstrate how 
wide was the gulf opening between German and non-German mankind. 

When to this crime against the laws of humanity and of nations there 
was promptly added that of Ypres, where the Germans employed poison 
gas, forbidden by every convention of civilized warfare, the transforma- 
tion of the war for the British people and for a great and growing fraction 
of the American public, was accomplished. Zeppelin raids on London, 
the bombardment of unoffending and open sea resorts, ultimately the en- 
slavement and deportation of the Belgian people into Germany, were but 
natural and logical extensions of the German method. They merely 
gave new force to the argument that the war was a war of moral, not 
material, interests — a war for civilization and against barbarism. 

Stripped of all else, the German spirit, as it revealed itself in these and 
other incidents, seemed to contemporary mankind unmistakably the 
assertion of the doctrine that all conventions of humanity, all pledges 
of national faith, all restrictions of international law, became null and 
void when they conflicted with a German policy or interfered with a 
German purpose. Crimes which should have put the guilty beyond the 


pale of human society, became meritorious acts when performed by 
German soldiers and sailors in obedience to orders and in conformity 
with German plans. Deeds, inhuman beyond all palliation, took on an 
heroic aspect for the German public when they served to terrorize 
occupied districts, thereby releasing fighting men for the front. The 
murder of women and children, the violation of women, the destruc- 
tion of the homes of the poor and the insignificant, the slaughter of 
neutral women and children at sea; all means and methods included in 
the German term of "ruthlessness"were justified, defended, exalted, when 
they served a German end, and at rare intervals when the offence itself 
passed the ample German powers of justification, Imaginary offences 
were alleged, after the fact, to explain outrages which were indefensible 
even on the basis of the invented provocations. 

The consequences of this German spirit and method were patent 
when the period we are now to examine opened. A host of German 
agents, spies, servants, the ablest of German diplomats and the most 
astute of German ministers, aided by German residents and fortified by 
every resource of corruption, were unable permanently to combat the 
opposition and the hostility aroused in neutral nations. The German 
policy compelled neutral governments to act in defence of the lives and 
property of their citizens. The agents of the German Government at- 
tacked these governments, seeking to destroy them at home and with 
their own people. And in the end the governments were driven Into 
open war with Germany, alike to preserve unity at home and to defend 
the lives and rights of their citizens abroad. 

A monstrous German propaganda was conducted in Italy and the 
United States. Politicians were bought, all the resources of German 
commerce and finance were invoked, but again and again German in- 
trigue abroad was confounded by German action in Europe. Italy 
entered the war on the very morning of the Lusitania, the German case 
was destroyed In America by this and succeeding crimes which steadily 
brought America to a realization of the actual character of the war and 
an acceptation of the European view. 

In Europe the German methods nerved the French people to a 


heroism and endurance unsuspected even of this brilliant people. 
Zeppelin raids, submarine slaughter, the poison gas of Ypres, wakened a 
sluggish Britain, first to unexpected response to the call for voluntary en- 
listment and then to conscription itself. Canadian survivors of the "gas 
attack" brought to America new and veracious reports of German meth- 
ods, which found slow but sure credence as the meaning of the Lusitania 
Massacre came to the people of the United States. 


The consequences of the transformation of the war were not early- 
perceived or justly appraised. It was not until Germany — victorious in 
the contemporary situation but palpably war weary — made the first peace 
gesture in the winter of 1916, that it became apparent how completely 
the war differed from preceding conflicts and how utterly Germany had 
become, for the peoples at war with her, an outlaw nation with whom it 
was impossible to negotiate in accordance with time-honoured usage, be- 
cause peace by negotiation would permit Germany to escape from the 
consequencesof her evil deeds and even, conceivably, to profit by methods 
which had roused the indignation and abhorrence of all civilized beings. 

As the war progressed and more nations were drawn into the whirl- 
pool, agreements were made between Germany's foes to right old 
wrongs, liberate subject peoples, remake the map of Europe. Utopian 
schemes were proposed, and schemes which were selfish. But when the 
Russian Revolution and the consequent restatement of Russian aims 
destroyed many of these arrangements, there still endured the determina- 
tion to fight onward until this German purpose was obliterated, this 
German method discredited in the eyes of the German people, and either 
a German renunciation of "terribleness" or a German military defeat 
should put a term to a common peril of all civilized peoples. 

To analyze the German spirit, to explain the use of these methods by 
a people which, before the war, had seemed substantially at one with all 
othercivilizednationsinrespectof humanity and international faith, must 
be the work of the psychologist and historian of the future. Certainly 
it is beyond contemporary power, as it is outside of the resources of the 


present writer who has stood amidst the ruins of Gerbeviller and 
Sermaize and heard from eyewitnesses and participants the shameful 
story of German deeds in Belgium and France. 

And yet despite the passions of the present hour one must perceive 
elements of grandeur amidst all that is repugnant and hateful in 
the German idea. The German people as a whole seemed to the world 
to have been seized with a vision of a magnified and glorified Germany— 
an ideal Germany for which they gave their blood and treasure with- 
out stint and without hesitation. Somethingof the spirit of the succes- 
sors of Mohammed certainly shone through the achievements of German 
soldiers and teachers, who went forth to conquer, sword and torch in hand. 
They sacrificed life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness. They gave up all 
to serve that ideal German State, and they performed great deeds and 
mean deeds with equal self-abnegation. And however terrible in de- 
tail was this German conception, however regardless of the lives and the 
rights of other races, however contemptuous of the conventions of other 
generations, it still acquired a measure of dignity through the devotion 
it inspired. 

Yet since this German ideal actually aimed at German supremacy in 
the world, the possession of Central Europe, the control of the land 
routes to Asia and Africa; since it assailed the existence of Frenchman, 
Belgian, Russian, Serbian; since it aimed at the ultimate destruction of 
the British Empire and the extinction of Italian aspirations; since, in the 
pursuit of German ends, it assailed the lives and property of neutrals and 
denied their right to sail the seas; since it employed methods, abhorrent 
to all mankind, to obtain ends dangerous to most nations, the whole 
world gradually took alarm and, one by one, nations far removed from the 
scene of actual conflict, and little concerned with European questions, 
took up arms against Germany. 

All through the period which we are now to examine this process goes 
forward. All through this period German methods make new enemies, 
and the German people, on the morning of great victories, are faced with 
great combinations of nations, and hand in hand with this goes the ever- 
constant widening of the gulf between the German people and the rest 


of mankind, between the German and the non-Teutonic mind. Actually 
the transformation of the character of the war was accompHshed for 
Europe by the spring of 191 5. The invasion of Belgium, Louvain, the 
devastation of northern France, Rheims, the Lusitania Massacre, the 
"poison gas" attack of Ypres; these are the stages. By May, 1915, the 
transformation is complete and the consequences still endure at the 
opening of the fourth year of the World War, which sees the United 
States among Germany's foes. 

And even if it were conceivable that history should hereafter destroy 
the contemporary judgments and Germany find justification for all 
her deeds in the eyes of the future, this would not change the fact that the 
transformation of the characterof the war for the nations fighting in 1915, 
and for those nations which were to enter it in 1916 and 1917, was one of 
the dominating and controlling influences in the first three years of the 
contest. It was with the memory of Louvain, Rheims, and of the newly 
lost provinces in mind that the French people fought on to and through 
Verdun; it was with the Lusitania in mind and the Zeppelin raids in their 
eyes that the British people created their volunteer armies; It was with 
Belgium and the Lusitania in their thoughts that the United States first 
endured the British interference with its commerce and remained the 
magazine of the enemies of Germany and, at a later date, broke with its 
oldest tradition and entered a European war. 





Long before the outbreak of the World War Admiral Mahan had laid 
down the value of sea power in the wars of the past and estimated its 
prospective influence in the next war. For Britain and for Germany 
Admiral Mahan's volumes had become the law and the gospel in naval 
history, and to the first volume of this American sailor is ascribed the 
change of policy of the German Emperor, the decision to seek Ger- 
many's future on the sea, which led inexorably to the conflict between 
Teuton and Briton. 

Sea power, in all the great conflicts of the past, had not been im- 
mediately decisive. Admiral Mahan had pointed out at great length 
and with a wealth of detail how the French were able, both under Louis 
XIV and Napoleon, to win, not alone campaigns, but temporary Con- 
tinental supremacy, only to lose it in the end because they were unable 
to come to grips with sea power and, thereafter, on British soil, to crush 
their one implacable enemy. 

In our own War of Independence the conclusive victory of York- 
town came when Britain had temporarily lost control of the waters of 
the American seaboard. Yet, by contrast, absolute supremacy at sea in 
1870 did not avail to save the French because the decision on land was 
immediate and complete. In our own Civil War the North used its sea 
supremacy to the uttermost and the isolation of the South by blockade 
was the most potent single factor in the ultimate collapse of the 
Southern Confederacy. 

And with the British declaration of war, in August, 1914, Germany 
became an isolated nation, so far as sea communication was concerned. 
First, her merchant marine was swept from the sea. Neutral harbours 



became the haven of the great Hners which had carried German com- 
merce and German prestige to the ends of the earth. The German flag 
disappeared from the ocean and the great ports of Hamburg and Bremen 
became as deserted as Charleston or Savannah in the Civil War epoch. 
All the vast trade in raw materials and in manufactured articles, the 
enormous export and import trade, which were the foundation of 
the prosperity of the new Germany and which had been created by the 
generation following the Franco-Prussian War, were paralyzed 
almost in an hour and remained paralyzed in the years of war that 

Next, within a time that was relatively brief, such German squad- 
rons and cruisers as were at sea when the storm broke were methodically 
"mopped up." The Emden, the Konigsberg, the Karlsruhe won fleeing 
fame and rivalled in destruction the exploits of the Alabama, but they 
were in turn remorselessly hunted down and destroyed, in the Indian 
Ocean, in the Rufigi River on the African coast, and in the South 
Atlantic. Admiral von Spee's squadron, escaping from a Japanese fleet 
and sweeping across the Southern Pacific, won a momentary success at 
Coronel, only to perish gloriously at Falkland Islands, in a fight that did 
honour to German seamanship and valour but revealed the hopeless in- 
feriority of German naval strength. When this process of sweeping the 
seas was completed the oceans lay open to Allied commerce and were 
closed to German vessels of war and of commerce alike. 

Never had a victory been more complete than that of the British 
navy in this first phase of the war, at sea. The old apprehension of a 
German raid upon British coasts, the idle but familiar legend of a con- 
templated German invasion of Britain, was revealed in its full absurdity. 
The accident of the mobilization of the whole British fleet at the moment 
of the outbreak of the war for its annual manoeuvres ; the rare good 
judgment of Winston Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty, in counter- 
manding the orders for demobilization and retaining the fleet in being 
during the critical days from July 25 to August 4, gave Britain, on the 
water, precisely that advantage Germany enjoyed on land, and abolished 
not merely the remote chance of a German attack upon Britain, but the 


very real danger that German cruisers might escape from their naval 
ports to the high seas and carry on a long and costly war upon British and 
Allied commerce. 

In this phase of the war the British fleets accomplished what had been 
impossible a century before. Villeneuve's fleet had eluded Nelson on a 
famous occasion, Napoleon had taken an army to Egypt and himself 
escaped to France at a critical moment in European history. But under 
the new conditions of steam navigation the command of the sea by the 
supreme naval power had attained a degree of the absolute, unknown in 
history. And so far as German commerce and German sea power were 
concerned this power was to remain absolute, even when the submarine 
began to take its toll of belligerent and neutral merchant marine. 


The first consequence of this assertion of sea power was the suc- 
cessful despatch of the British army to France. While the Grand Fleet 
moved majestically out of the vision of the world and took its station in 
northern Scotland, there to keep watch and ward, to take and retain a 
silent but remorseless grip upon the throat of German commerce, the 
lighter craft assured the safe passage of the Channel by Field Marshal 
Sir John French's army, transported with a speed and a success 
which established new records in this department of war. From the 
outbreak of war to the end of the First Battle of Ypres not much less 
than 200,000 troops were thus ferried across the Channel, and their 
presence in France was essential to the safety of the whole Allied cause. 
Had these troops not arrived, France would have fallen. At the moment 
when the western battle was reaching a crisis, the arrival of an Indian 
Army Corps brought from the Far East saved the day. Thus, in a very 
real sense, the war on land was made possible for the Allies, and defeat 
was avoided, not merely by the valour of the troops at the front, but 
equally by the service of the British fleet. 

Later the tide of Colonial support was in turn brought to Europe. 
Asia, Africa, Australia, Canada were able, as they had been always willing, 
to take their place beside the Mother Country on the French and Belgian 


fronts and elsewhere, when the flood of war turned to the Near East. 
In the first three years of the war not less than three milhon men were 
thus carried from all over the world to France and Belgium, and this 
mighty task was accomplished without the loss of a transport, while the 
passage from Boulogne to Folkestone, from Calais to Dover, continued 
as safe from German attack as the ferries in the North and East rivers 
of New York City. 

Once more, as in the days of Louis XIV and Napoleon, Britain sat 
safe behind the silver ribbon of the Channel. Zeppelins and airplanes 
might at intervals reach her cities and exact their toll of lives, mainly 
of children and women; an occasional German raider might come down 
Channel or bombard a seacoast resort; but despite these hostile mani- 
festations, Britain remained secure in her islands and gathered up her 
millions to strike her great foe. 

Nor was the second consequence of supremacy at sea less important 
to the Allied cause. Germany had struck at her own hour and after full 
preparation. Her first blow had given her possession of the industrial 
districts of Belgium and northern France, the iron mines of Lorraine, 
the coal regions of Mons and Lens. She had in her grip the factories of 
Liege, of Lille, of Tourcoing, and of Roubaix. St. Quentin, all the great 
manufacturing districts of the valleys of the Scarpe, the Deule, the 
Scheldt, and the Sambre were at her disposal. 

Thanks to the British fleet, however, this enormous initial advantage 
was promptly counterbalanced by the transformation of industrial 
America into the workshop, the arsenal, the granary of the Allies. In a 
few short months all the vast machinery of the great plants of the 
Western Republic were working for the Allies. Ammunition, guns, all 
the necessary implements and munitions of war were manufactured and 
transported across the ocean, until the whole western front met German 
attack with American rifles, American ammunition. The vast new 
armies of Britain were equipped in considerable part by America, and, 
thanks to this, were able to take their place upon the western front 
months in advance of the hour that they could have arrived save for 
American factories. What the British factories had done for the North in. 


the Civil War, those of the United States did for Britain and France in 
the new world struggle. 

Nor was the food supply less Important. When the mobilization of 
an ever-growing percentage of the manhood of the warring nations 
brought with it diminishing food supplies, the United States, with Can- 
ada and Australia, supplied the Allied deficit. Thanks to the British 
fleet and the American wheat fields, the French people could still procure 
white bread long months after it had disappeared in Germany, and pro- 
cure it at the ante-bellum price. When want invaded Germany, and 
privation, if not starvation, arrived; when the sufferings of the masses 
due to the blockade were very great, Britain still was well fed, and 
France had not yet begun to feel that need of economy in food which 
came only with the third winter of the war. 


Because of this situation; because the sea power of Britain enabled 
America to feed and arm the Allies and thus deprive Germany of most of 
the advantage due to superior preparation and early military successes; 
because the people of Britain and France escaped hunger, while it al- 
ready threatened the German people; because sea power, in fact, made 
all neutral nations the allies of the enemies of Germany, the sources of 
the arms and munitions employed to destroy German armies, Germany 
was in the end led to imitate the Napoleonic policy, which led to the 
downfall of the First Empire. 

At Jena, Austerlitz, Wagram, Friedland, Napoleon won victories 
which brought Prussia, Austria, Russia, the Continent to his feet. But 
ever and again British money and British influence roused a new coalition 
and compelled a new war. And it was the effort to get at Britain which 
led him to Egypt, to Warsaw, at last to Moscow. It was his effort to 
compel the nations of the Continent to join France in closing their ports 
to British ships and British commerce, thus to destroy commercial 
Britain, that was his undoing. 

We are accustomed to think that It was the Insatiable ambition of 
Napoleon which led him to seize Hamburg and Danzig, to establish 


French rule along the Adriatic, and deprive Austria of her lUyrian coast. 
But the purpose of the great Emperor was rather to lay hands upon all 
the doors by which British goods reached continental ports. His Berlin 
and Milan decrees were provoked by British hostility and in these lay the 
seeds of his downfall. To get at Britain, he had to deprive the German 
and Austrian States of their sea front; it was because of Russian refusal 
to accept the Napoleonic policy that the Moscow campaign was pro- 
voked. The long and deadly wastage of the war in Spain was alike the 
consequence of a desire to close Spain and Portugal to British ships, and 
of the ability of the British themselves to transport armies to the Iberian 

Seeking to Isolate Britain, Napoleon was led from campaign to cam- 
paign, from annexation to annexation. He was brought to the necessity 
of destroying the commercial life, not merely or primarily of France, but 
of Russia, of Prussia, and of Austrla;and, as a consequence, Austria, Rus- 
sia, and Prussia were driven Inexorably Into alliance with Britain. And 
ultimately, such an alliance, at Leipzig and Waterloo, destroyed Napoleon. 

In precisely the same fashion the German situation led to a similar 
policy. The neutral nations had become the arsenal and the granary 
of the Allies. It was Impossible for Germany, acting In accordance with 
International law, to prevent this. It was the unquestioned right of 
neutral nations to trade with belligerents — It was not their fault that the 
British fleet had closed German ports. No law, no conception of inter- 
national law, warranted Germany In asking them to declare an embargo 
upon munitions, to abandon the policy Germany had pursued as recently 
as during the South African War. 

And Germany could not blockade Britain. Her sole weapon was the 
submarine; but to employ the submarine necessitated the sinking of 
neutral as well as belligerent ships, whether carrying contraband or 
merely engaged In lawful trade allowed by all the rules of civilized war- 
fare. German necessity, which had led German armies into Belgium to 
strike at France and thus Insured British entrance Into the war, now con- 
fronted a new obstacle, which carried with It an even deadlier peril, since 
it involved the ultimate defeat of Germany, so her statesmen and 


soldiers reasoned, if Britain in security could arm her millions and feed 
her population with American meat and wheat. 

Thus we shall see Germany, in this present period, led, through the 
direct influence of British sea power, to one deed after another, to one 
policy after another, designed to interrupt the flow of munitions and 
food to Britain, provoked by the shadow of hunger at home while her 
great enemies still had plenty, but calculated to rouse the neutral 
nations of the earth, and destined, in the end, to bring the United States 
and a whole powerful group of other neutrals into the war on the Allied 
side and thus transform neutrals into enemies. By adopting a course 
designed to deprive Britain and France of the benefits flowing from inter- 
course with these neutrals, Germany, in the end, made war with neutrals 

This was the achievement of British sea power. It was, ultimately, 
a decisive influence in the progress of the war. It did produce conditions 
which led Germany to attack neutrals; it did bring other nations into the 
war as the German invasion of Belgium had mobilized British sentiment 
for war. But it was not until a later phase that the real importance of 
this consequence became clear to the world. 

Yet, at the outset, it is essential to see the German conception. Only 
by a rapid dash through Belgium could Germany hope to win her war 
as she meant to win it. Since this was the plain fact, Germany disre- 
garded her pledge, ignored the rights and liberties of Belgium, and made 
her progress from Liege to Mons and thence to the very gates of Paris. 
Her necessity justified, to German minds, that wrong to Belgium which 
was incidental. 

When the end of the first land campaign had failed to bring a German 
victory, and a long war was certain, German defeat became a possibility 
if the United States and the other neutrals were to remain the sources of 
Allied munitions and weapons. Germany might not starve, but she was 
sure to be outgunned, outmunitioned, outnumbered, if she failed to 
achieve a decision before British and French and Russian armies could 
be equipped from America, while British and French millions were fed 
from American food sources. 


The sole alternative was a "ruthless" submarine war, which would 
destroy British merchant marine engaged in American commerce and 
so terrify neutral and particularly American shipping that it would re- 
frain from entering British and French waters and bringing food and 
munitions to the enemy. And as in the case of Belgium, Germany 
made her decision. In the case of Belgium she risked British entrance 
into the war. In the case of the submarine she risked the entrance of the 
United States and of other states. Again the German people and the 
German rulers argued themselves into the belief that they would derive 
the profit without encountering the peril of such a course. Again they 
deceived themselves. 

The submarine war upon commerce belongs to another chapter, but 
its genesis is in the successful assertion by the British of sea power in the 
first phase of the war. Inexorably this led William II into the fatal 
pathways of Napoleon I. Inevitably, as in the case of the French Em- 
peror, William II found himself, on the morrow of great victories, com- 
pelled to deal with fresh coalitions of foes. Thus, though the British 
armies were long in arriving, though France had to bear two years of 
agony before the new British hosts could begin, British sea power exerted 
an influence quite as great as Mahan had forecast, and without this 
British aid the French and Russians would have succumbed almost at 
the start, and thereafter whenever it had been withdrawn. This was 
Britain's great contribution over two years and its value cannot be 


The outbreak of the war saw the British fleet take its post in Scotch 
waters, facing the German ports. For the first days and weeks the whole 
world awaited a Trafalgar or a Salamis at sea, as it watched for a Water- 
loo or a Sedan on land. But the German fleet was too inferior in 
strength to challenge the British armada, and the Grand Fleet under 
Jellicoe dominated the North Sea. Not until the still-remote day of 
Jutland was the German High Seas Fleet to venture forth within range 
of British first-line squadrons. German strategy was from the outset to 
disclose itself as a strategy of waiting, a strategy which had for its chief 




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The Irresistible and Ocean were sunk by Turkish mines on March i8, 1915, the day when an attempt was made to 
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most of her people were drowned. 

Of this trio the great super-dreadnought Queen Elizabeth alone lived to fight another day, because she was coO 
valuable to be subjected to the risks run by the other ships. 


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The observer stands near the Dardanelles' entrance where the Allies easily won a foothold. " With no great trouble the 
first barrier was destroyed and the mine-sweepers entered the straits and began the work of clearing the channel for the 
larger ships. This work continued from February 19, until March 18, 1915, when the road was clear for the great attack. 
On this day the whole fleet steamed up the straits toward the narrows. It was the belief of naval officers that the long 
protracted bombardments had silenced the Turkish forts. They were promptly undeceived." 


When her capture became inevitable, the Turks managed to torpedo her. This gaping hole just above the water-line 

is the result 

Copyright by Underwood iy Underwood 


The uniforms and faces of these soldiers and sailors betray their English origin. They are some of the "Anzacs," who 
fought and died devotedly, but in vain on the terrible Gallipoli peninsula 


This landing-place is on the Asiatic side of the straits, just inside of Kum Kale, at the mouth of the little River 
Menderes, which was called the Scamander when the Siege of Troy took place upon its banks. A fleet of transports lies 
in the offing and the dim land beyond is Cape Elles, on the European sideof the straits, where Fort Sidd El Bahr (captured 
by the Allies) was located. 

Cupyn^ltt by Undfnvood U Underwood 


This picture was taken from on board a British destroyer In the Dardanelles, at the Instant a Turkish mine exploded' 
within a few feet. Photographers In the World War have had many hairbreadth escapes, but few have missed deativ 
more narrowly than he who took this picture. 


aim to weaken the British by successful attacks upon individual ships 
until resulting attrition should restore the balance between the two fleets. 

Such strategy was wise and inevitable. Behind the sand banks and 
narrow channels of German shores, covered by the fortress of Heligoland 
(which a pacific Britain, unmindful of the future, had surrendered to 
Germany for a price, now become ridiculous), preserving by the Kiel 
Canal the sure entrance into the Baltic and the consequent supremacy 
in that sea, the German fleet waited. Winston Churchill might later 
utter bold words about "digging the rats out," but the task was be- 
yond the capacity of a modern fleet, threatened with all the perils of 
contemporary naval warfare. 

Thus the naval warfare resolved itself into minor encounters and in- 
cidental losses — none of real importance, none calculated to change the 
balance between the two fleets — and thus enable the Germans to risk all in 
that long-toasted encounter " The Day," when German was to meet Briton 
on the high seas and German victory doom a modern Carthage. Power- 
less to prevent British armies from crossing the Channel and British 
cruisers from sweeping the seas clear of German merchantmen, the 
Kaiser's navy was compelled to confine itself to filling the North Sea 
with mines, attacking isolated ships with submarines, and risking minor 
encounters with smaller units. 

In this time the French fleet, in strict conformity with arrangements 
made before the war, arrangements cited by Sir Edward Grey when he 
declared that Germany must not attempt to come through the Channel 
or attack France unless with the clear recognition that Britain would 
Intervene, took over the task of maintaining Allied security in the Medi- 
terranean and sealing the Austrian fleet up within the Adriatic, a task 
that the French were to perform until the hour when Italy should enter 
the war and Italian squadrons take over a portion of this difficult task. 

Yet before the French could assume the whole burden, their fleets had 
necessarily to cover the transportation of French troops from Algeria, 
Tunis, and Morocco to the home ports. And In this time there occurred 
an event which was fraught with fatal consequences. The German 
cruisers, the Goehen and Breslau, caught In the western Mediterranean at 


the onset of hostilities, fled to Messina, after having bombarded Bona 
and Philippeville on the Algerian coast. Ordered to leave the Italian 
port, they sailed to what seemed certain death, since a British squadron 
was in their pathway. 

Yet, as a result of circumstances that can hardly fail to be a per- 
manent ground for censure of the British Fleet, these ships escaped, 
reached the Dardanelles, passed them, and came to anchor in the Golden 
Horn. Having permitted them to get away, the British admiral failed 
to follow them into Turkish waters, risking Turkish resistance. As a 
result the Goehen and the Breslau became a decisive influence in driving 
Turkey into conflict with the Allies. The ships, retaining their German 
crews, passed to the Turkish navy. Presently they appeared in the Black 
Sea and, by attacking Russian ships, provoked a Russian declaration of 
war. In this incident is seen the first in the long series of failures and 
blunders which were to cost the Allies so dearly in the Near East. And 
even at the end of three years the explanation of the escape of these 
ships remains hidden. 

By contrast, the dash of British smaller craft into the Bight of Heligo- 
land and the sinking of two German cruisers was a detail, although the 
brilliance of the exploit filled Britain with pride at the moment. But 
British rejoicing was brief. Less than a month afterward one German 
submarine accounted for three large British boats, the Cressy, Aboukir, 
and La Hogue, under conditions that were again a reproach to British 
naval generalship, while in following weeks other British ships of greater 
value were victims of this new weapon. The war had not proceeded 
for two months before the British as well as the rest of the world were 
aware that, given her inferiority in resources, Germany was to prove 
no mean antagonist on Britain's own element. 

At the moment of the German advance in Flanders, when the 1914 
phase of western operations reached its crisis and the Kaiser and his 
hosts came pounding down from Antwerp on the road to Calais, the 
British fleet intervened and saved the Belgian army by sweeping the in- 
vaders from the road along the sand dunes which led by Nieuport to 


But by far the most interesting and considerable naval operations 
/between the outbreak of the war and GalHpoli were the two battles in 
South American waters, one at Coronel on the Pacific Coast, the other at 
the Falkland Islands. In the former,aninferiorsquadronof Britishboats, 
the antiquated Monmouth and Good Hope, accompanied by the Glasgow, 
which had little fighting value, and deprived of the doubtful aid of the 
Canopus, encountered the squadron of Admiral von Spee, which in- 
cluded the Scharnhorst and the Gneisenau, two swift and powerful cruis- 
ers, as well as the Nuremberg, Dresden, and Leipzig. The fight was short 
and the end complete. Admiral Cradock went down with his flagship, 
the Good Hope; the Monmouth shared the same fate; the Glasgow escaped. 
Once more there had been a blunder — the size and strength of the 
German Pacific squadron had been known, and to send such old and in- 
adequate vessels to meet it was to send ships and men to certain doom. 

The defeat was quickly avenged. Two new battle cruisers, the In- 
vincible and Inflexible, were sent swiftly and secretly from England. 
With them went three armoured cruisers, the Carnarvon, Kent, and Corn- 
wall; at sea this squadron, commanded by Admiral Sturdee, met the 
Bristol and then the Glasgow, the sole survivor of Cradock's battle. 
This considerable squadron entered the port of the Falkland Islands to 
coal and on the next day the squadron of Spee, seeking the Canopus and 
the Glasgow, appeared. Cradock had perished on November i; on De- 
cember 7 Spec's whole squadron, save for the Dresden which escaped and 
kept afloat until March, went down in a running fight. A few survivors 
were picked up by the victors, but most of the officers and men under 
Spee met a sailor's death after a brave but hopeless fight, quite as un- 
equal as had been the struggle at Coronel. Thus an unnecessary defeat 
was avenged by a brilliant victory, and Germany's only squadron outside 
,of home waters annihilated. 


A single other naval venture alone commands attention in the first 
year and a half of war. The entrance of the Goeben and the Breslau 
into the Dardanelles had determined the decision of the Turks and the 


Turkish declaration of war had isolated Russia. Germany, holding the 
mastery of the Baltic, her Osmanli ally master of the Bosporus and the 
Dardanelles, there was left to Russia only the remote ports of Archangel 
on the north and Vladivostok in the Far East. And both were closed for 
long periods by winter and neither could serve as the base for Russian 

Already, before the end of the autumn of 1914, Russia was be- 
ginning to feel the pinch for munitions and, since it was necessary to 
finance Russia in part, nothing was more essential than that Russian 
wheat should flow outward to balance the Allied credits and repay the 
Allied loans. Nor was it less necessary that the crushing of Turkey 
should be prompt, that Allied ascendancy in the Balkans might be main- 
tained and Bulgarian stirring checked. 

Were it possible then to force the Dardanelles, to push through with 
a fleet, as Admiral Duckworth had done a century before; to arrive be- 
fore Constantinople, as a British fleet had done in the critical days of the 
last Russo-Turkish war when Russian armies were approaching the 
Golden Horn, the profit would warrant oaying any reasonable price 
alike in ships and lives. Here, very concisely, were the terms of that 
great gamble, which was the naval attack upon the Dardanelles. It 
failed absolutely. One of Its consequences, but not an inevitable 
consequence, was the subsequent land and sea attack, the ill-fated 
Gallipoli campaign, which brought such a train of evil and even of 

Yet the original risk, accepted by Winston Churchill, whose imagina- 
tion, as usual, passed his judgment, calling as it did for the risk of a few 
obsolete ships, supported by only one or two modern and first-line units, 
did not pass British and French resources; nor were the actual losses, as 
the event proved, sufficiently heavy to weaken in any measure either 
British or French sea establishment. 

The real criticism of the Dardanelles affair is to be found, if at all, in 
the fact that all the lessons of naval warfare were against it. Sampson 
had declined a similar venture before Santiago when confronted by forts 
far inferior. Farragut had passed the forts at the mouth of the Missis- 


sippi, and New Orleans had fallen as a result; but in that earlier period, 
indeed down to the contemporary era, the menace of mines had been 
practically non-existent, and Farragut could without too great rashness 
say at Mobile: "Damn torpedoes, go ahead!" since the torpedo of the 
Civil War age was to be classed as well-nigh futile. But the Japanese 
at Port Arthur had not risked any forcing of the entrance. 

More difficult than the entrance to Santiago or to Port Arthur, better 
defended as to forts and as to guns, since the defences had been the work 
of the German General Staff and German officers commanded many 
of the batteries of heavy guns, themselves the product of Krupp, the 
Dardanelles were in fact beyond the power of a fleet to reduce, and from 
the very outset the attempt was doomed to repulse. Since this was 
patent, plainly the wiser course would have been to wait until land 
forces were available and make a joint operation; and such a joint 
operation could have a chance of success only if it were not preceded by 
a naval attack without land aid, which would forewarn the Turks and 
lead to the immediate fortification of the Gallipoli peninsula and thus to 
the defeat of any land operations. 

But in February, 1915, neither were land forces available nor was 
it easy to see whence they could be derived in any immediate future. 
When General Ian Hamilton's army was at last sent to the Gallipoli 
Peninsula it was not only inadequate for its task, but its departure 
weakened British armies in France, contributed to the failure of the 
British effort in Artois, and produced a situation in which Field Marshal 
Sir John French, on the evening of a day at Festubert, when he had lost 
thousands of men because his guns lacked ammunition to prepare an 
attack, received orders to send a considerable share of a non-existent 
reserve stock of shells to the Dardanelles. 

And since men were lacking and the opportunity dazzled those who 
played with it, the fleet undertook an impossible task, failed, and gave It 
up, wisely and in time. Had there been no further venture, the Dar- 
danelles experiment would have been a detail ; indeed so unmistakably 
tremendous were the certain rewards of success that the judgment of 
those who ordered the attack might have been accepted. As it was, the 


Dardanelles was the first step in one of the most gigantic blunders in 
military history and its consequences were fraught with incalculable 
harm to the Allies. 


The actual naval operation at the Dardanelles is simply told. 
About a hundred miles west of Constantinople the sea of Marmora nar- 
rows to a channel in places less than a mile wide and rarely more than 
three. For sixty miles this channel winds to the ^Egean, separating the 
Gallipoli Peninsula from the Asiatic mainland and at its mouth washing 
the shore, forever memorable as the scene of the Siege of Troy. Through 
this channel the current runs southwestward at the rate of four miles an 
hour. In the time of sailing ships this current was an obstacle to navi- 
gation, and it became a peril to the modern battleship when floating 
mines were adopted as an engine of destruction. 

At the point where it enters the i3*!gean, this channel is several miles 
wide and it was imperfectly guarded by a few old forts, mounting guns 
of no real value against armoured ships. But fourteen miles upstream 
the channel narrows to a pass hardly three quarters of a mile wide, and 
makes a sharp turn. At this point, strongly reminiscent of the entrance 
to Santiago harbour, the Turks had erected a series of strong forts on 
either shore. Here is the village of Nagara, on the site of the ancient 
Abydos; here Leander swam the straits to meet Hero; and here Lord 
Byron repeated the feat centuries later. Here was the great obstacle — 
the sea gate to Constantinople. 

Having assembled a fleet of French and British warships, mainly 
composed of ships mounting heavy guns but no longer in the first line, 
although there were also present the Queen Elizabeth, one of the newest 
British superdreadnoughts mounting fifteen-inch guns, and the Inflexible, 
which had shared in the winning of the Battle of Falkland Islands, 
the Allies, on February 19, began the work of silencing the forts at the 
entrance of the Straits, and the Plains of Troy and the hills that had 
looked down upon the Homeric struggle echoed to the roar of modem 
high explosives. 

With no great trouble the first barrier was destroyed and the mine, 


sweepers entered the Straits and began their woric of clearing the channel 
for the larger ships. This work continued until March 18, when the 
road was clear for the great attack. On this day the whole fleet steamed 
up the Straits toward the narrows. It was the belief of the naval officers 
that the long-protracted bombardments had silenced the Turkish forts. 
They were promptly undeceived. 

Suddenly all the forts opened fire. Soon three great shells fell upon 
the French ship Bouvet and at the same moment she touched one of the 
floating mines the Turks had launched. In three minutes the ship had 
disappeared, carrying most of her crew down with her. An hour later 
the Irresistible struck a mine; her crew escaped but the ship sub- 
sequently sank. Next the Ocean touched a mine, and she went down al- 
most as quickly as the Bouvet. Meantime the French Gaulois and the 
British Inflexible had been put temporarily out of action by gunfire. 

This was the end. Three battleships and two thousand lives had 
been lost and the Straits had not been forced; the forts had not been 
silenced; the peril of mines had not been surmounted. At the moment 
when the world was still looking for the arrival of the Allied fleet at the 
Golden Horn and the restoration of the Cross at St. Sofia on Easter 
Sunday, the Allied fleet had abandoned the task as impossible. Once 
more, as so often in his long European history, the " Sick Man of the 
East" had recovered on what had seemed his death bed. 

This decisive defeat at the Dardanelles was the second in the series 
of Allied failures in the Near East; allowing the Goeben and the 
Breslau to escape had been the first. By this later failure, Allied prestige 
in the Balkans was dangerously impaired. In Sofia and Athens the de- 
feat of sea power produced echoes which were not heard at the time, 
but were memorable at a later date. 

Yet even after that failure, the dazzling lure remained. No man 
could exaggerate the value to the Allies of a victory that should open 
the sea gate of Constantinople and restore communication with Russia. 
Hence, when the fleet had failed, the temptation to try again, with an 
army to support the navy, was almost irresistible. It could not be re- 
sisted, because it had seized the mind and fired the imagination of one 


of the most brilliant, if most erratic, of Allied statesmen. The first 
venture was to be ascribed to Winston Churchill, First Lord of the 
Admiralty. He was now to push his project in the teeth of the opposi- 
tion of Field Marshal Sir John French and General Joffre, and to draw 
away from the main front, at a critical hour, men and guns sadly 
needed in Artois. But for the moment, while the new operation was 
preparing, the Gallipoli affair languished. 





In one other respect the dominant sea power in the present struggle 
repeated the famiUar achievements of the past. In the long struggle 
between Britain and the House of Bourbon in the Eighteenth Century, 
France, frequently victorious in Europe and usually, although not 
always, fighting on enemy soil on the Continent, saw her overseas empire 
extinguished. India and Quebec were lost by the Old Monarchy, and 
Napoleon, having for a moment conquered Egypt and acquired Louisi- 
ana, was obliged to flee the former and sell the latter. Thanks to sea 
power Britain was able to wreck all the colonial aspirations and efforts 
of France at Plassey and on the Heights of Abraham, and at the end 
of the Napoleonic Wars France was once more restricted to the European 
Continent, after two centuries of colonial effort and no small temporary 

The destruction of the German colonial edifice was much more 
prompt, as British control of the seas was more nearly absolute in the 
twentieth than in the preceding centuries. The very first week of the 
war saw the German colony of Togo in Anglo-French hands ; thereafter 
in steady succession the other outlying possessions of the German Empire 
were conquered. With the outbreak of the war they were isolated from 
the Fatherland; thereafter it became merely a question of time until 
they should fall like ripe fruit into the hands of the enemy, and, though 
their defence was brave and the task of occupation arduous, by reason 
of distances, poor communications, and sparse population, there was 
never a moment of hope that German East Africa could escape 
the fate of Quebec, or the German Kamerun that of French India. 
From August, 1914, onward, the various colonies simply awaited the 




moment when the British and their alUes should feel willing to spare 
the men and material for "Side Shows," for these minor campaigns 
necessary to extinguish German "places in the sun" of Africa and of Asia. 

.^V^JfV c ^ 

The black area shows Kaiser Wilhelm's Land and the other German possessions in the Pacific^now 
lost to her. Their proximity to Britain's "island-continent" explains why the Australians have resolved 
that this territory shall never be returned to Germany. 

And there was one more notable detail in which these campaigns re- 
called the past. In her great struggles with France on the American Con- 
tinent, Britain had been aided and even led on by her American colonists. 


Now it was the Australians who crossed the narrow channels to seize 
the German islands to the northward. New Zealand stretched a hand 
out to German Samoa; South Africa, having suppressed a German- 
incited rebellion, sent an army under Botha, the famous Boer com- 
mander now wearing the British uniform, to clean out German power 
and German intrigue from German Southwest Africa, as it later sent 
Smuts to repeat the achievement in German East Africa. 

Aided in the Pacific by Japan and by her own Australasian subjects, 
in Africa by the Boer and British colonists alike, supported by French and 
Belgian troops in Central Africa, drawing upon East Indian and black 
troops, Britain slowly but surely dealt with the German overseas 

And in all this there was nothing that rose to the level of a great cam- 
paign — there was nothing that suggested the glories of the Eighteenth 
Century struggles in India and America. Nowhere had German occu- 
pation sent down the roots that French settlement had developed in 
America. Brilliant achievements there were, achievements that glad- 
den the sporting instinct of the Briton or delight those who love the 
romantic and picturesque. Yet, in the main, the destruction of the 
German colonial empire was comparable with the absorption of a help- 
less victim by an anaconda. 

It was the recognition of this very helplessness of their colonies that 
had made the Germans furious before the war; it was this helplessness 
beyond the seas which accentuated their passion when their victorious 
armies were approaching Warsaw and within reach of Constantinople, 
while their guns were still audible in Paris. 

In all this, too, history did but repeat itself, and the German, familiar 
with his history, could feel even in victory something of the cold breath 
of the past which had blown in upon Napoleon's Empire and stayed the 
hand of the great conqueror. Like Napoleon, William II could win 
battles and campaigns in Europe, but like Napoleon he was halted at 
the seashore, while beyond the range of his land guns he saw an empire 
disappear and, in addition to the empire which was German by possession, 
that other far more considerable empire which was the creation of the 


merchants, the bankers, and overseas representatives of that new com- 
mercial Germany, which on every sea and in every continent had been 
threatening British commerce. Small wonder was it that a German 
Hymn of Hate rose shrilly and even more shrilly as time went on. 

II. Germany's place in the sun — mittelafrika 

At the moment when the World War came, Germany had a far-flung 
circle of colonies. Murdered missionaries in China had been paid for 
by the cession of Kiaou-Chau, which was already raising its head as a 
rival to British possession and Japanese. A German Hong Kong in the 
making, a counterweight to Port Arthur newly won from Russia, 
Tsingtau was showing swift progress and extending a railway tentacle 
deep into Chinese territory. Southward, Germany had purchased from 
Spain the last remnant of her Pacific empire, the stray islands excluded 
by the United States from its purchases following the Spanish-American 
War. One of the Samoan group, the northeastern quarter of New 
Guinea, near Australia, these were the widely separated and comparatively 
insignificant colonial possessions of the Germans in the Far East, ridicu- 
lously insignificant to the German mind reflecting upon the European 
greatness of his country, when he contrasted them with British India, 
French Indo-China, American Philippines, Japanese Corea, or with the 
great English-speaking empire growing up to the south of Kaiser 
Wilhelm's Land. 

But it was in Africa that the German had laid the foundations of a 
real empire, although even here his possessions seemed to him all too 
limited and scattered. A million square miles in area, Togo, Kamerun, 
German East Africa, and German Southwest Africa, were divided from 
each other, cut off from the fertile regions of the Congo Valley, walled 
in by British and French colonies vastly more desirable; or strangled by 
Portuguese and Belgian territories whose integrity was guaranteed by 
British and French treaties. 

In the face of all this Germany had cherished a dream and conceived 
a plan. Already German patriots had constructed maps showing a 
German colony extending from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic, 


The checkered areas show the German colonies at the outbreak of the war. In the first year of 
fighting the Germans were driven out of them all except East Africa in some parts of which they con- 
tinued a stubborn resistance into the fourth year of the war. 

The heavy black line incloses the African territory that Germany hoped to acquire. Note its 
junction with Turkey-in-Asia and thus with Middle Europe, through Egypt. 


including Belgian Congo and French and British possessions between 
Stanley Falls and Lake Tchad. Portuguese colonies on the east and 
west coasts were also marked with German colours. Here, in the great 
basin of the Congo, including the headwaters of the Nile, extending from 
the Orange River to the mouth of the Niger on the west coast and from 
the Zambesi to the frontiers of Uganda on the east, the German had 
traced out a tentative place in the sun of Africa. 

Nor did the dream end with this huge proposal. In addition not a 
few German patriots, never reconciled to British conquest of the Trans- 
vaal and Orange Free State and firmly convinced that both states would 
welcome the chance to throw off British rule and exchange the yoke of 
King George for the sovereignty of the Kaiser, boldly coloured Africa 
with the German shade from the Cape of Good Hope to the borders of 
Egypt and spoke confidently of the time when this Mittelafrika would 
be joined to a Mitteleuropa, dominated by Germany, by way of the 
Bosporus and Suez, and Cecil Rhodes's dream have a German realiza- 

Meantime, Germany had already taken the first step toward the 
achievement of this colossal project. In 191 1, when the Agadir crisis 
had broken, Germany had, after vain efforts to claim a share of the 
Shereefian Empire, found her "compensation" for French Moroccan 
gains in the Congo and thrust forward two long tentacles across French 
territory, bringing German garrisons to the west banks of the Congo 
and Ubanghi rivers at the moment when a German railroad was ap- 
proaching the eastern frontiers of the Belgian colony on Lake Tangan- 
yika. While Britain was intent upon realizing her Cape-to-Cairo 
project, Germany was preparing for the Transafrican railroad, which, 
unlike the long-contemplated French Transaharan condemned to desert 
regions, would tap some of the most fertile regions on the planet. 

Behind all the commercial advantages lay the prospective hosts that 
Germany could enlist among the natives of the African empire under 
German officers, submitted to German training, equipped with all the 
resources of Krupp. Already envious of the progress made by France 
in training Arab, Kabyle, and Negro troops, whose fighting qualities had 


been revealed in Europe in 1870, Germany contemplated organizing 
black armies which should sweep Africa from one end to the other and 
carry German power from Suez to Tangier, from Cairo to Cape Town. 
If Germany, the Pan-Germans, nourished a dream of a restoration of 
the Old German Empire in Europe, of a Mitteleuropa which should 
stretch from the Channel to the eastern limits of Courland and Poland 
and from the Baltic to the Persian Gulf and Suez, the German Colonial 
Party had a vision of a Mittelafrika only less splendid, and there were 
not a few who dreamed that the two conceptions might be fused, when 
German armies, with Turkish aid, should enter Cairo and other German 
forces, armies created out of the boundless human reservoirs of Central 
Africa, should liberate the South African Republics, restore the Boers 
to the Teutonic world, and extinguish British power at the Cape. 


Such was the vision. But in July, 1914, the fact was still far different. 
In an African empire five times the area of the Fatherland the Germans 
had established less than 22,000 white settlers. All the sea gates to 
these colonies were either held or watched by British possessions. 
Whalefish Bay, the one good harbour of German Southwest Africa, was 
British. From Zanzibar the British dominated the coast of German 
East Africa, while the French in their Congo colony, the British in 
Nigeria, held the harbours of the west coast of Africa, from which rail- 
roads would eventually lead Inland to the Congo basin. 

In North Africa more than a million Europeans were settled under 
the French flag, and cities like Algiers, Oran, Tunis, calling places of 
German ships, contrasted unpleasantly for German pride with the little 
stations of German Africa. Even Dakar, on the west coast, the coaling 
station for the South American trade, was French, while at Casablanca 
a new harbour and a new French base were rising. At the other end of 
Africa another million of whites, British subjects, were opening a new 
empire which was moving northward toward the Congo valley with swift 
leaps along railroads which were already approaching the shore of 


Nor had his colonial rule, despite the construction of some rail- 
roads and a few model towns, been the success that the German had 
expected. The inability of the Teuton to deal with a subject race had 
produced one of the bloodiest of all wars between the white and the 
black in Africa. In German Southwest Africa the struggle with the Her- 
reros had ended only with the practical extermination of the native, and 
the colony had been left without labour when the terrible contest was over. 

Yet it is but just to say that, before the outbreak of the war, there 
had been a growing realization in Germany that the African adventure 
had been badly conducted and that, unless new methods were employed, 
there could be no success comparable with that of France with its mil- 
lions of blacks in West Africa or with that of Britain all over the 
world. Tales of atrocities in their colonies had stirred the sluggish 
German pulse and men of the commercial rather than the military class 
were beginning to appear in colonial offices. 

In the making of the colonial empire in Africa, Germany had already 
roused the fear of the Belgians, who saw their territory between the 
Atlantic and Lake Tanganyika the object of German design. Was it not 
Bernhardi who had suggested, long before the war, that merely by tak- 
ing the Congo Free State, Belgium had forfeited her right to have her 
territory in Europe respected? Portugal had shown alarm when the 
Germans had prevailed upon the British to agree to a partition of Portu- 
guese colonies when Portugal consented to sell them. Yet, the Germans 
later charged that Portuguese anxieties were stilled by a renewal of 
British promise to defend these colonies until Portugal wished to part 
with them. 

France, after the Agadir affair, had seen her Congo territory muti- 
lated. Across that stretch of French territory which had hitherto ex- 
tended without interruption from Algiers to the shores of the Congo, 
the Germans had thrust two coils, and French Congo seemed, on the map 
and to the French mind, already enveloped in the folds of the German 
boa constrictor and doomed to ultimate disappearance. Already the 
Congo suggested to the French a second Quebec. 

As for Britain, until the outbreak of the war she regarded the German 


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Bearers wading the shallows of Lake Bangweolo, with supplies for the expedition upon their heads. Livingstone died 

not far from here in 1873 

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Soon after this picture was taken this convoy was attacked by a German force, but successfully defended by British 

African and East Indian troops 


Mnf;a Island wrs Uorman territory oS tlie coast of German East Africa. East Indian troops are shown iandins .u 
Kissimani Ceacli. liie English sahib is conspicuous as he stands in sun-helmet and spotless white uniform at th- hu.v 
of the boat. 

The British Hag is being hoisted at Utende, while the King's African Rifles suiiuujul it in hollow-sciuare formation 


At the beginning of the war British South Africa was invaded from German Southwest. But the Boers disap- 
pointed the Germans by remaining true to the British. Botha had fought against England in the Boer War, but he 
led the Boers against the Germans, and soon conquered German Southwest for the British Empire. 


It is possible that the same animals may appear both in this picture and in the preceding one. For when the British 
conquered German Southwest Africa they would naturally have realized the potential value of the German trained 
camels in safeguarding Egypt, and, later, in the campaigns of Mesopotamia and Palestine. 

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Machine gun drill at Diiala barracks. As German Southwest Africa was exposed to assault from its more pros- 
perous neighbour, British South Africa, so the (German) Kamerun was at the mercy of the F rench who were well estab- 
lished in the adjoining French Congo and Sudan. The British colonists in Nigeria and the Belgians in the Belgian 
Congo were other hostile neighbours. 


A practice march. 

The German possessions in western equatorial Africa melted away before French-drdled and British-drilled troops 
like these, soon after the war began. "German Togoland was conquered by .Anglo-French forces after a campaign which 
lasted but three weeks and was ended in August, 1914. On February 18 of the following year the Kanierun was also in 
British and French hands." 

















































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(.opxn^it! i.'\ .\f:i nijtt rru.rl 't'tilks and Hruun Is' DaUiOn 


Part ul the obstacles which a strong Japanese force found no difficulty in overcoming. I'he city of Tsinf; Tau was 
encircled by miles ot this barbed wire cntanj^lemcnt 

Copyri^/it hv Newjnun iraict t ctlki and iiro:iit y Oatvion 

The effect of the bombardment on the big guns of the Clerman fortress 


efforts in Africa with something between disdain and benevolence. 
Even a German colony extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific and 
including the Belgian and French Congos did not stir the Briton's pulse, 
nor did the covert menace to South Africa, for a single moment 
revealed to the whole world when the Kaiser sent his historic message to 
President Kruger, disturb the equanimity of a Liberal Ministry, little 
concerned with Imperial ambitions and convinced that Britain had al- 
ready reached the point of satiation so far as overseas annexations 
were concerned. In Central Africa, as in Asia Minor, the British 
Government and public of 1914 were reconciled to German development, 
provided it did not threaten the legitimate interests of France or preci- 
pitate any European conflict. 

And it was this dream of a great African Empire, of a German 
Congo become almost as real as the German Rhine, of a German 
Tanganyika, of a Transafrican Empire, which was extinguished — for the 
period of the war at least — in the first months of the conflict and at the 
very hour when German victories in Europe filled the bulletins of the 
world. Thus the Hohenzollerns in their turn fared as had the House of 
Bourbon when at last sea power was roused. 


In the story of the extinction of German colonial power the Chinese 
incident naturally takes first place, not merely because it happened to be 
chronologically the first, but because the participation of Japan gave it 
unusual value and raised questions which may have incalculable im- 
portance in the future, both in the Far East and for the United States 
and the British colonies of the Australian and American continents. 

By her treaty with Britain, by the terms of the alliance that followed 
the Russo-Japanese War, Japan was bound to support Britain east of 
Suez, so her participation in attack upon Kiaou-Chau was always 
assured. Yet there were deeper reasons which made the war popular 
in the Japanese mind. Following the war with China and after a 
sweeping victory, German intervention had denied Japan the harvest 
her victories had earned and her rulers demanded. At this moment in 


Far Eastern history, Germany played the part she had played at Berlin. 
Then she had vetoed Russian aspirations at the Dardanelles. In the 
later episode she barred the Japanese route to equally cherished ob- 
jectives and made herself the spokesman for Europe. Here was an in- 
jury which the Japanese never forgave, although at the moment they 
were powerless to revenge. 

Not less an affront to Japanese pride was the constantly repeated 
appeal of the German Emperor to the Western nations to unite in a 
crusade against "the Yellow Peril." The words of the Emperor when 
he sent a German expedition to Pekin, exhorting his troops to remember 
the deeds of Attila and emulate them — an exhortation faithfully ob- 
served and remembered in later days when German armies in Belgium 
and France outstripped the Huns of Attila in destruction — and the attack 
upon the "Yellow race" therein contained, were a memorable affront to 
a proud nation, conscious of its growing power and its great achievement, 
already rivalling the Western races in its development, commercial and 
industrial, and determined to take an equal rank amongst the great 
nations of the world. 

Nor were these sentimental reasons alone of importance. The Far 
East, China, was the natural field for Japanese industrial and political 
expansion. The war with Russia had banished the Slav from the Ko- 
rean Peninsula and gained both Southern Manchuria and Port Arthur. 
Having thrust one European nation out of China, Japan could with real 
enthusiasm aid in the expulsion of another. Nor was there any com- 
parison between the Russian and the German in the matter of com- 
mercial rivalry. If Russia could be regarded as a future rival, when she 
had, in her time, become an industrial and manufacturing nation, 
Germany was already a real commercial rival. Russia lacked a com- 
mercial fleet, but already German ships sailed the Chinese waters and the 
German flag appeared ever more frequently in Chinese ports. More- 
over, from Tsingtau a German railroad had already tapped the coal 
regions of Shantung, and Teutonic appetite for Chinese territory showed 
marked expansion. 

When Germany, like Russia, was expelled from the Far East, while 


Britain and France were occupied with a long war — for the Japanese 
were not in the dark as to the prospects of the western war — while the 
United States was still given over to pacifist dreams, unarmed and in- 
capable of defending its colonies or, for that matter, its own Pacific Coast 
line, Japan might look forward to a long period of unchallenged supre- 
macy in the Far East, and in this time she would be able, not alone to 
establish her influence in China, but, through her manufacture of war 
materials for the Russians, acquire that capital she lacked and restore 
her finances shaken so severely by her war with Russia. 

On the other hand, to every suggestion that she send her armies to 
Europe, Japan was bound to return a polite but firm negative. It was 
not her concern; it was obviously to her profit that the Western nations 
should cripple themselves by a long war and find their whole energy for 
years concentrated upon the European battlefield. If the war ended 
in the exhaustion of all the contending nations, Japan, still strong in her 
military and naval establishment, still possessing a huge and well- 
equipped army, her finances restored and her situation in China fortified 
by long occupation, could well believe that her place in the world would 
be increased, her power expanded. Such a struggle might bring her in- 
calculable profit; it could not threaten her with any real danger. Such 
was Japanese policy. 

By contrast with the political aspects of Japanese participation in the 
war the military incidents at Kiaou-Chau were insignificant. On 
August 15 Japan despatched an ultimatum to Germany, demanding the 
departure of German ships from Chinese waters and the transfer of 
Kiaou-Chau to Japan, as a first step in its return to Chinese control. 
The time limit fixed in the ultimatum was August 23 and on that day 
Japan declared war upon Germany, 

Early in September a Japanese expedition, amounting to one strong 
division, was landed near Kiaou-Chau. Fifteen hundred British troops 
presently joined the Japanese, warships belonging to the Allied nations 
covered the transport operations and opened the bombardment of 
Tsingtau. Without haste and methodically the Japanese pushed their 
trenches forward and November 6 saw the forts of the German colony 


in ruin. The next day, November 7, Tsingtau surrendered. A garrison 
of less than four thousand had made a brave but unavaihng resistance. 
At the moment the German faikire at Ypres was assured and the road to 
Calais barred, Berlin heard through enemy proclamations that her Far 
Eastern colony was lost. 

In this same time Japanese warships had seized German islands in the 
Pacific, New Zealanders had occupied Samoa, Australians had taken 
Kaiser Wilhelm's Land. German rule in the Pacific had been abolished. 


The conquest of German Africa is interesting, in the larger view, 
solely because of the South African episode. Hardly a decade had 
passed since British armies had at last extinguished Boer resistance in the 
two Afrikander republics. Only eight years had elapsed since home 
rule had been granted to the conquered Boers and the Union of South 
Africa had become a fact. In all German calculations there had been 
the expectation that at a German appeal. South Africa — Boer South 
Africa — would rise again and that the outbreak of the European War 
would be the signal for the end of British rule south of the equator. 

That this did not happen was due to the genius of the British race in 
dealing with its colonies. South Africa had been swiftly reconciled after 
having been ravaged by a long, bitter war. Forty-four years after 
French defeat, forty-three years after the Treaty of Frankfort, the mass 
of the people of Alsace continued to resent German rule and remained 
loyal to France. But in less than a fifth of this time the conquered 
Boers had been reconciled to the new condition. 

When the war came it had its echoes in South Africa, De Wet, one 
of the most famous of the Boer leaders, promptly raised the standard of 
revolt and to this some thousands of the old Boers flocked. But the real 
power in South Africa was Louis Botha, the greatest of Boer generals in 
the previous war and now the first Prime Minister in the new colony. 
In the great crisis he never hesitated, and his influence was decisive. The 
last days of October saw the outbreak of the rebellion; by December i 
the whole thing had been stamped out, De Wet was a prisoner, all the 


raiding bands, which never attained the importance of armies, had been 
dispersed or captured. South Africa had demonstrated its determi- 
nation to remain under British rule. 

The next step was inevitable. British South Africa had been invaded 
from German Southwest Africa; the adjoining German colony had been 
the base for conspiracy and the starting point of invasion. Now, 
just as the American colonists in the Eighteenth Century had shared 
with the British the task of expelling the French from Canada, the Boers 
followed Botha in the invasion of German Southwest Africa and the end 
was not long in coming. July, 1915, saw the surrender of the last Ger- 
man commander, German Southwest Africa passed to the control of the 
Union of South Africa. And just as the American colonists disclosed a 
determination that Quebec should not be returned to the French, the 
South Africans early proclaimed their annexation of German South- 
west Africa as definitive. 

Germany had reckoned on the disaffection of British colonies the 
world over. She had believed the war would cause the loosening of the 
bonds that held together the British Empire. The response of Canada 
had been heard in the Second Battle of Ypres, when the Canadians 
had saved the day in the great gas attack. Australia and New Zealand 
answered to the roll call on GallipoH Peninsula and the story of the 
Anzacs had become a part of Imperial history when the South Africans 
completed their task of extinguishing German rule in South Africa and 
accepted as the next duty the invasion of German East Africa. No dis- 
appointment of all that Germany suffered was more real or more serious 
than that caused by the course of the British colonials. She had hoped to 
disrupt the British Empire, but before the first anniversary of the war 
was over it was plain that she had cemented it. 

As for the other colonial incidents, they call for but passing mention. 
German Togoland was conquered by Anglo-French forces after a cam- 
paign which lasted but three weeks and was ended in August, 1914. 
On February 18 of the following year the Kamerun was also in British 
and French hands. Only German East Africa remained and this was 
able, because of its size and the problems of transport, to resist with 


ever-diminishing force until the fourth year of the struggle. But the 
resistance was always hopeless and, long before this time, restricted to 
inland districts removed from that great railroad which had been the life 
line of German plans in Central Africa. 

And in this collapse of her overseas empire may be found one more 
incentive to Germany's military activity in the period we are now to 
examine. Since sea power had demonstrated her helplessness be- 
yond the mainland; since her colonial establishments had disappeared; 
it was patent that if Germany were to have her place upon the map, a 
place commensurate with her real greatness, it must be sought where 
her armies could march and where British sea power could not reach. 
And this led inevitably to the great Pan-German dream, to Mittel- 
europa, with its Asiatic extensions. 





With her flag banished from the high seas, her seaborne commerce 
paralyzed, her colonies one by one being gathered in by British, Japanese, 
and French troops; with the prospect of a long war where she had ex- 
pected a swift triumph; with the realization that the United States was 
becoming the arsenal and the granary of her enemies, the Germans, after 
their defeats at the Marne and in Belgium and those of their Austrian 
ally at Lemberg and in Galicia, were, in the closing months of 1914, 
brought face to face with a situation which, however much it might 
arouse their anger, demanded such attention as might abolish what was 
now a threat of ultimate defeat. 

To meet sea power Germany had no fleet commensurate with the 
task, and the first months of the war demonstrated that she could not by 
submarine warfare so diminish the British Grand Fleet as to make a 
decisive victory at sea even remotely possible. Her dream of carrying 
the war into Britain by Zeppelins and by airplanes was presently to 
prove idle. Zeppelin fleets were, it is true, to arrive over London and 
deposit their burden of bombs, but the ensuing destruction was soon 
shown to be relatively insignificant, while each return of the German air 
fleets stimulated British volunteering, roused British spirit to new de- 
termination, and brought British appreciation of the character of the war 
to a still more dangerous clarity. 

As the war progressed, it became quite clear that Admiral Mahan's 
dictum would be proven accurate and that the dominant sea power would 
rewrite the rules of international war governing blockades to suit its own 
necessity. Very early in the contest the British Government repudiated 
the agreements contained in the Declaration of London, never, be it said, 



accepted by the British Government by any official act, although they 
had been formulated in a conference which took place in the British 
capital and had enlisted the support of British representatives at the 
gathering. Nor is it unworthy of note that, when the war came, Brit- 
ain refused to follow the principles championed by her delegates at the 
precise moment when Germany demanded that these same principles — 
rejected by her delegates — should become the rules of marine conflict, 
thus supplying one more example of the vagaries of diplomacy. 

From the very start it became clear that British naval power would 
more and more seek to seal up Germany, to interrupt the flow of food 
and material, non-contraband as well as contraband, of wheat and 
cotton as well as shells and copper. Nor was it less clear that the British 
naval policy, and in this policy all of the Allies concurred, would aim also 
at shutting up those neutral doorways by which necessary food and 
munitions could reach Germany, although this involved an actual, if 
not a technical, blockade of the ports of Holland and the Scandinavian 
countries and an ever-increasing interference with American trade on 
the high seas. 

How was Germany to deal with this problem which carried with it the 
very real threat of ultimate privation for her people and of complete ex- 
haustion of war material for her armies ? Should she seek to employ her 
submarines against enemy and neutral marine alike and, by arousing 
fear, forbid the use of European waters by neutral ships bearing food and 
munitions to her foe and thus bring her enemies to terms by turning their 
tactics against them ? Should she refrain from direct acts herself so far as 
neutrals were concerned and await the very probable embroilment of the 
neutrals with Great Britain and the subsequent action of the United 
States to protect its overseas commerce from British Interference? 

Both policies had much to commend themselves to the German mind. 
Immediate war upon all British shipping, passenger ships as well as 
cargo boats, would bring the meaning of the struggle home to the sea- 
faring nation of Britain. It would abolish that Intolerable situation In 
which the mass of the British people were able to rest safe and secure on 
their Islands, while the threat of Invasion and the peril of starvation over- 


hung the German people. It would strike Britain at her most vital and 
sensitive point — her fleet, her merchant marine. More than this, it 
would rouse German confidence and German enthusiasm as nothing else 
could, for in the early months of the war the " Hymn of Hate " was on all 
lips and "Gott Strafe England" the most familiar of German salutations. 
On the other hand, while such a course was calculated to injure 
Britain, it might conceivably rouse the neutrals. The United States 
might be driven to take steps against Germany and become a member of 
the alliance against her, while if Germany held her hand, all German 
representatives in America could, with reasonable accuracy, assure her 
that the American people, with the memories of 18 12 still in mind, would 
not permit British fleets to bar their ships or their products from the 
European trade when these ships and these products were proceeding in 
strict conformity with international law. Moreover, even if the United 
States did not, in fact, declare war upon Britain because of British of- 
fending, there remained the possibility that she would embargo all war 
material destined for British and French armies and vital to their safety, 
to their existence. And, after all, this would mean the realization of the 
chief German purpose, for, deprived of this American aid, the Allied 
armies would almost inevitably fall to German arms. 


In this dilemma the German statesmen were not able early to adopt a 
definite policy. They could not decide at first upon an absolutely 
" ruthless " submarine war. They could not make up their minds to leave 
the initiative to Britain and await the eventual profit when American 
public opinion should be properly roused, as their agents and repre- 
sentatives were bound to arouse it. And in the end this faltering be- 
tween two policies led to the failure of both. The history of the relations 
between America and Germany, growing out of the submarine contro- 
versy, belongs to that volume which will discuss America's entrance into 
the world conflict and there will be examined in detail, but it is appro- 
priate now to examine the submarine question as it afi^ected the war 
situation in the first eighteen months of the conflict. 


With the coming of the New Year ( 191 5) the British were moved to the 
first important step in the long series that led to ultimate rallying of the 
United States and many other neutrals to the Allied cause. Foreseeing 
the eventual shortage of food, the German Government, with a prevision 
strikingly contrasting with Allied blindness, ordered the organization 
within Germany of a sort of glorified trust, which, under Government 
authority, was to seize all the wheat in Germany and to regulate its 
distribution. Alleging that this warranted treating wheat as contraband, 
the British Government announced that it would henceforth adopt such 
a course and it fortified its decision by declaring that this policy was to 
be recognized also as a reprisal for German offences against international 

To this Germany responded with her proclamation of a blockade 
of Britain to begin in February, a submarine blockade, further strength- 
ened by the wholesale sowing of mines. She announced a policy of 
sowing mines within the waters of Britain, sinking belligerent mer- 
chantmen on sight, and warned neutrals against entering these waters 
lest they should be the victims of accidents. In this first declaration 
there was no suggestion of "ruthlessness" so far as neutral ships were 

But such a policy not only did violence to all international law 
regulating blockades, but also was perilous alike to non-contraband 
goods of neutrals carried in belligerent bottoms and to the lives of Amer- 
ican and other neutral citizens travelling upon passenger ships flying 
belligerent flags. In both cases, too, it was an invasion of the unques- 
tioned rights of neutrals, although not more serious than certain British 
invasions, save in a single circumstance. It involved the lives of neu- 
trals, whereas the British acts involved only property and even there 
left an opportunity for redress in British prize courts. 

As between the sinking of belligerent merchant ships and passenger 
boats there was a distinction which might have been established in the 
neutral minds had Germany permitted the matter to await argument 
before going further. International law as it existed was based upon 
conditions that obtained in the Civil War era. Then the ability of the 


warship, having captured a prize, to take it to port; the opportunity for 
searching suspected merchantmen, and for manning them with prize crews 
were unmistakable. But between 1864 and 1914 a half century had 
elapsed, and the whole machinery of marine warfare had changed while 
the precepts of international law governing this warfare remained un- 

By Britain's blockade, which had taken on illegal features and 
was patently destined to transgress still further international law, 
the whole civilian population of Germany was threatened with 
starvation. In the submarine Germany possessed a weapon which 
might enable her to strike back. Was she estopped from using it be- 
cause international law had been compiled before the submarine became 
a detail in war.? That she should be prevented from employing 
this against belligerent merchantmen, despite the incidental added risk 
in the case of the crews of such vessels, was manifestly unfair. The sub- 
marine could not, like the old sailing ship of war or the steam craft of 
the Civil War period, put a prize crew aboard a merchantman; it could 
not take off the prize's crew because it had no room to house it. More- 
over, it was itself in deadly peril, by reason of its fragility, if such 
merchant ships as crossed its pathway did as they were promptly to 
do, namely arm themselves with guns sufficiently powerful to dispose 
of a submarine. 

Therefore, when Germany did actually put into practice her threat- 
ened policy in the matter of enemy merchant marine — as one distin- 
guished British naval authority. Sir Percy Scott, in a memorable state- 
ment, had forecast before the war — there was no clear and immediate 
reaction in neutral nations. The solemn warning of the President of 
the United States, evoked by the BerUn proclamation of this "block- 
ade" and indicative of a determination on the part of the American 
Government to defend the lives of its citizens and to hold Germany to 
"strict accountability" for any injury to American shipping, was not 
accepted in America as covering the case of British and French merchant 
ships. It was felt at once to be designed to meet the case of American 
ships and American sailors navigating them, and to belligerent passenger 


ships carrying American citizens to Europe, since the rapid decay of 
American merchant marine, due to unintelligent shipping laws, had 
almost compelled Americans having business in Europe to travel by 
foreign passenger craft, as the Germans themselves well knew. 

And in the early days of this first submarine campaign, while 
merchant ships of the Allies were the sole victims and the Allied 
press was filled with denunciations of the Germans as pirates and 
murderers, American and other neutral opinion remained calm. Be- 
tween the two belligerent principles, both illegal, both violating all the 
letter if not the spirit of international law, the neutrals did not feel 
themselves called upon to choose, and the United States signalized its 
attitude by addressing an identic note to Great Britain and to Germany 
protesting against injuries suff^ered at the hands of both. 

So far then the German submarine campaign encountered no great 
obstacle, but, on the other hand, it accomplished no great result. Mer- 
chant ships were sunk, but not in impressive numbers. British sea- 
borne trade was not paralyzed. American munitions continued to pour 
into Britain and France, and Kitchener's new armies were in part equip- 
ped in America, while for France and England, America became the 
farm and the factory. More than this, the Germans could suspect a 
growing tendency in America, as the trade of the country with their 
enemies expanded, to endure hardships and wrongs incident to Allied 
policies, to permit Allied interference with German-American trade, 
when Allied-American trade was more and more occupying all the 
industrial establishments of the nation and promising profits beyond the 
dreams of avarice. 

III. "ruthlessness' 

In this posture Germany was led to an extension of her submarine 
policy which had fatal consequences. Always in the German mind there 
appears to linger the notion that it is possible to accomplish by terror 
what cannot be achieved by the more familiar and legitimate methods 
of international intercourse. Now it seems clear that the Germans 
concluded that by extending their submarine campaign to include all 
belligerent ships — there was still no direct suggestion of an attack upon 


neutral vessels — the results would terrify neutrals and above all Ameri- 
cans into submission to German will and bring them to the prohibition 
of trade with the Allies. 

So far the Germans had found the neutral world resigned, if not 
complaisant, in the face of their invasion of neutral rights. Could they 
not expect that this temper would endure — since to the German mind it 
was due in no small degree to fear of German might — if their sub- 
marines attacking British passenger ships should demonstrate in a 
striking and unmistakable manner the reality of their submarine threat, 
now become a little discredited in neutral minds ? And the sinking of 
a few passenger ships, of some great and famous boat, would it not have 
an effect upon public opinion not to be exaggerated, an effect well-nigh 
necessary in the dark moments before the great German victories of 
191 5 began? 

The flaw in all this reasoning was in the inability of the German to 
recognize that while nations can submit to many injustices and permit 
many of their rights to be invaded, no nation, save in a condition of 
absolute helplessness, can endure the murder of its own citizens and take 
no step to check the policy which involves their murder. 

That the United States would take any drastic step against Ger- 
many, as long as her aggressions were aimed only at belligerent 
merchant ships, was always unlikely. Even in the case of American 
ships there was a plain disposition to accept apology and indemnity, 
where the injury had been manifestly or even apparently the result of 
mistake and not of design. But never at any time was there any real 
possibility that the United States would permanently tolerate that its 
citizens, travelling in strict accordance with their rights, be murdered 
upon the high seas, even if as an alternative the United States had to 
enter the war. To something approaching piracy the American Govern- 
ment did submit, both in the case of Britain and of Germany, but to 
murder it could not submit, and when the Germans at last definitely 
adopted a policy of murder the United States entered the war. 

The decision of the Germans in the matter of unrestrained submarine 
operations is one of the great incidents of the war. It takes rank with 


the invasion of Belgium. It was born of similar ideas and it led to 
similar results. The condition of modern land war, the development of 
P>ench defence, had left Germany but one avenue of attack upon 
France promising swift victory, and she took it. The invasion of Bel- 
gium made British entrance into the war certain. British sea power left 
Germany but one weapon on the ocean — the submarine. She took it, 
and, by employing it in a ruthless fashion, brought the United States and 
other neutrals actively into the war at the moment when a favourable 
peace was not beyond her reach, and war-weary Allied nations were only 
roused to new determination by the arrival of American ships and sol- 
diers in France. 

Like the invasion of Belgium, the first German submarine campaign, 
which covers the period we are to examine, failed to achieve its main 
purpose. Had it been restricted to merchantmen it could not have 
succeeded at this stage, but there would have been a very real possibility 
that the United States might have come to grave disagreements with 
British sea power and even to the point of embargoing war munitions. 
After the submarine policy had been expressed in the Lusitania Mas- 
sacre there never was a chance of this, and the United States marched 
surely, if unwittingly, to the declaration of April 6, 1917. But it is useful 
to recall that until this crime, German submarine warfare upon the mer- 
chant marine of belligerents failed to arouse American anger and seemed 
one of the injuries incident to a world conflict, which should be endured 
by a nation resolved to remain outside the struggle. In the Napoleonic 
Wars both England and France behaved toward us even more out- 
rageously than the Germans before the Lusitania crime, and between 
the German and Allied policies there was a difference in method rather 
than spirit, since both were equally regardless of international law and 
neutral rights. 


Between April, 1915, and February, 1916, the period in which the 
submarine played only a minor part, its depredations were not serious, 
its potentialities were hardly appreciated, and the British naval authori- 
ties were too easily satisfied by their apparent success in dealing with 


the menace. Neither on land nor on sea was the effect of this new engine 
of real weight. 

Yet the consequences of the unrestricted use of the submarine 
were ultimately to raise an issue between the United States and Germany 
which led to war. When the year 19 15 opened no man could safely fore- 
cast the ultimate course of American policy. The British decision to for- 
bid the transport of foodstuffs to German ports, announced in a decree 
of February 2, raised instant protest in America. The German response 
of February 4, proclaiming the war zone, transformed the problem from 
a quarrel between America and the Allies to a dispute between the United 
States and both coalitions. The Anglo-French response of March i, 
which interdicted all seaborne commerce with Germany, temporarily 
gave to the Allies the larger share of American resentment. 

It is only after the Lusitania Massacre of May 7 that the tide defi- 
nitely turns in America, that the question at issue between the United 
States and Germany excludes from real discussion the disputes between 
the United States and the Allies. After May 7 Germany becomes more 
and more involved, while the Allies are less and less impeded by Ameri- 
can protest or American indignation. Presently the whole question 
becomes German-American and the United States more and more as- 
sumes the position of insisting that Germany shall, no matter what the 
cost to herself, abandon a policy jeopardizing American lives and 

All this belongs to the narrative of America's relation to the war. 
Yet it is essential to recognize that, in the period that we are to review 
now, Germany lost the chance of utilizing American insistence upon the 
rights of neutrals as a weapon to break down British blockade. She 
lost it by her submarine campaign and she lost it forever by the Lusi- 
tania crime. Her first submarine campaign thus cost her all hope of 
American aid, aid to come by an American defence of international law; 
her second submarine campaign led straight to war with America. 

We know now that Germany was forced into the first campaign by 
Admiral Tirpitz and a few of his associates, who exaggerated the possible 
achievement of the submarine fleet. We know now that wiser statesmen 


objected to the campaign, not because of any tenderness of heart, but 
because they beheved the profit would not balance the loss, since the 
German submarine fleet was too small to obtain any real success. We 
know now that, in the end, in the spring of 1916, this unrestricted sub- 
marine warfare was abandoned temporarily, because it had been proved 
that Germany could not pursue it further without bringing the United 
States into the war and because at that date she had but few submarines 
available. Presently we shall see the British people and their naval 
authorities convinced that Germany had abandoned the first campaign 
because of the achievement of the British fleet, and had only used Amer- 
ican dangers as a pretext, and later we shall see how mistaken were these 
Englishmen and how costly their complacency proved. 

In the second phase of the war, German use of the submarine led 
to grave consequences without considerable profit. On the material 
side it insured to the Allies all the resources of American factories and 
mines, since it abolished all chance of an embargo following a dispute 
between Washington and London over patently illegal British use of 
sea power. On the moral side it transformed the character of the war 
in the neutral mind. Thus May 7, the morning of the Lusitania Mas- 
sacre, is a date memorable in the history of the war; memorable there- 
fore in all human history. Off^ Old Head of Kinsale, as before Liege, 
Germany invoked the law of necessity, and as the former crime roused 
Britain, the latter eventually stirred the United States. 

Here, after all, is the real significance and the only actual achieve- 
ment of the first submarine campaign. It did not bring Great Britain 
to her knees, as the violation of Belgian territory had not resulted in the 
destruction of France. It merely enlisted a new enemy where it sought 
to conquer an old antagonist. Again the greatest price of their 
"terribleness" was destined to be paid by Germans. 

Copyright by InUrnaiionul film Service 


This steamer was set on fire by a German U-boat commander. The picture was reproduced from a German news- 
paper. It was part of the consistent German effort to cheer up the German people by attempting to prove to them the 
efficiency of the ruthless submarine campaign. 


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Copyright by InUrnaiional Fthn Sercice 

She is running high in the water, with practically all her crew on deck and in the conning-tower 

Cjpyrig/lt hy fnUrtlar,- '■.:; I ,'■- .SVrti, 


A cioss-section of the interior of this vessel may be seen on the preceding page. Two mines are visible on her deck in 
this picture. She can carry twelve more in the six tubes in her forward hold, as shown in the other picture 

Copyright by InUrnational Film Servue 

The sea is rough and the King is feehng cautiously for the top step of the companion ladder 


Looking aft from the conning-tower of a British U-boat in the North Sea, where it is often rough going for submarines 

travelling on the surface 





On May Day, 1915, a huge German army under Field Marshal von 
Mackensen attacked the Russian army commanded by a Bulgarian 
general, Radko Dimitrieff, and standing between the Dunajec and Biala 
rivers, some thirty miles east of Cracow, well-nigh destroyed it and 
began that long offensive which was not to end until German armies had 
penetrated deeply into Russian territory, taken Warsaw and Brest- 
Litovsk, and temporarily paralyzed Russian military power. 

The Battle of the Dunajec is the second of the great conflicts of the 
war — the Marne, the Dunajec, and Verdun. These are the great struggles 
of the first three years and in many respects the Dunajec must rank 
after the Marne, while viewed from the standpoint of the present hour it 
seems certain to prove one of the truly decisive battles of human history, 
for by this disaster were sown the seeds of that Russian Revolution 
which was to come less than two years later. It marked the decisive step 
toward the overthrow of the Romanoff dynasty and the consequent total 
transformation of the character and prospects of the war on the eastern 
front and, in a sense, of the whole war. Just as the Battle of the Marne 
supplies the central unity of the first phase of the war, the Dunajec 
furnishes the same central point for the second. All the campaigns and 
all the important developments derive their chief significance from this 
great struggle, which (so remote did the Galician field seem to the world 
at the moment) appeared insignificant beside the barren trench struggles 
about the ruins of Ypres. 

The conditions under which this battle were fought are simply told. 
From the Battle of Lemberg onward Germany had sought steadily to 
bolster up the shaken Austrian armies. She had endeavoured by one 



costly offensive after another, directed at Warsaw from her own territory, 
to reUeve the pressure upon her ally, throw the Russians back behind the 
middle Vistula and the Niemen, and compel them to give over their great 
effort to crush Austria. None of these efforts had been a complete success 
nor yet a total failure. The victories of Hindenburg at Tannenberg and 
the Masurian Lakes had taken a terrible toll of Russian troops. Russian 
victories over the Austrians at Lemberg and afterward just missed deal- 
ing the final blow to the Hapsburg armies because of German aid 
promptly given and efficiently administered. 

But long before spring came the Germans had recognized that it was 
no longer possible to save Austria by offensives directed from Breslau, 
Posen, or East Prussia upon Warsaw. They had perceived, too, that it 
was not going to be possible to renew their bid for a decision in the west 
until they had settled with Russia by inflicting a sweeping and com- 
plete defeat upon the Czar's armies, which should eliminate them from 
the reckoning and might procure a separate peace by producing such a 
revolution within Russia as would dispose of the Slav enemy for 
the duration of the war. At the least they were now determined 
to drive the Russian armies from Austrian territory and so disorganize 
their military establishment as to gain time and opportunity to go west 

Having resolved that their major campaign for 1915 should be made 
in the east the Germans had to decide at what point they would make 
their main offensive. The failures along the Niemen-Narew-Bobr line 
from Grodno to the Vistula, the bloody repulses on the Bzura-Rawka 
front, had exhausted the possibilities on the north and in the centre. 
Despite all efforts, these attacks had been repulsed and Russian pressure 
upon Austria had continued. Nor was there a more shining oppor- 
tunity to be found far to the south on the Rumanian frontier. To at- 
tack here was still to permit the Russian pressure, the main thrust at 
Hungary, to continue. Equally unattractive was the front along the 
Carpathians, for here the Russians, even were they driven back, would 
be able to maintain a long and costly defence in the Dukla and Lupkow 
Passes, possessing communications behind them and already holding 


the crests of the range along the portion of the mountain front which was 
available for operations. 

The decision of the Germans was therefore for the front between the 
Carpathians and the Vistula, where the Russian line, having made the 
great "elbow" west of the Dukla Pass, ran straight to the north. Could 
they break the Russian line here, the Germans would threaten the rear 
and communications of the armies fighting along the Carpathians, par- 
ticularly that of Brusilofif. Here they might hope to achieve, as they did 
in fact almost achieve, another Sedan, but they could be assured that in 
any event a successful penetration of the Dunajec line would cause the 
collapse of the whole Russian front from the upper Vistula to Rumania, 
with the consequent liberation of most of Galicia. 


The method by which the German sought to attain his goal is of 
supreme interest because it reveals a new form of warfare. It was re- 
peated in every detail at Verdun and in a modified form at the Somme, 
and an examination of the system sheds invaluable light on the later 
struggle. It represented the application of new weapons and new 
discoveries to the art of war and it is a landmark in military history, on 
the scientific side. All the battles that came after this struggle for the 
next two and a half years were in the main of the same type. 

At Neuve Chapelle Field Marshal Sir John French had almost 
achieved a major success, the actual breaking of the German line by 
means of massed artillery bombardment. On a front of less than a mile 
he had concentrated three hundred guns. The storm from this artillery 
the "drum fire" of this unprecedented concentration, had swept away the 
German trenches and the German barbed wire. The road to Lille had 
been open for hours after this tornado of shells and it was the failure of 
reserves to arrive that had spoiled the best chance the Allies were to have 
for more than two years to break the German line from Switzerland to 
the sea. 

The method of French was now adopted by Mackensen, but it was 
magnified to colossal proportions. In place of three hundred guns, the 


Germans transported to western Galicia not less than two thousand, 
many of them of the heaviest caUbre, and behind them they massed a 
head of shells previously unprecedented in war. What Sir John French 
had done to a mile of German front in Flanders, Mackensen now pur- 
posed to do to many miles of the Russian front. Nor was this all. Hav- 
ing broken the lines before him he purposed, still moving his heavy ar- 
tillery forward, to continue to break down and destroy each successive 
line on which the Russians might rally. He had thus fashioned a mobile 
battering ram. 

And behind the ram were many corps of the best German troops. 
For this campaign the pick of German first-line troops had been selected. 
The army that Mackensen commanded was probably, given its size, the 
best army that Germany had put into the field, for despite heavy losses 
her military machine had not yet begun to break down through wastage 
of its officers and annihilation of its youth. 

The mission of this army of attack, Mackensen's "phalanx" as it 
presently came to be described, was to finish the work begun by the 
guns, to stamp out the last feeble resistance, and sweep on as a wave 
might rush through a dike already undermined by dynamite. There was 
no intention that this army should extend its front; it had no part in the 
work of the flanks; it had no part in the work of the regular forces 
holding the line before it attacked. Its mission was to batter its way, 
steadily, irresistibly, through the Russian positions, always attacking 
on the narrow front which could be prepared by the guns. 

The eff^ect of this strategy is easy to grasp. Right and left of the 
sector attacked Russian armies stood firm, even took the offensive, but 
the Russians could not concentrate guns or munitions to meet this main 
thrust and each time they endeavoured to stand before it their line was 
crumpled up under the storm of shells that fell upon it. And when this 
line had crumpled, the "phalanx" pushed through and opened a new 
breach, which compelled a reorganization of all the Russian front to 
conform to the retreat of the army which yielded to the main German 

Time and again Russian armies north and south of Mackensen's 

White arrow shows the point chosen by Mackensen for the attack of his mobile battering-ram 




operative front swept forward, defeated and drove German and 
Austrian troops, winning victories of considerable magnitude, taking 
thousands of prisoners, but always on the morrow of such successes they 
were faced with the fact that this Mackensen "phalanx" had pushed 
forward over another barrier, broken the Russian centre between the 
mountains and the Vistula at a new point, and the wings had to retire 
to keep their alignment with the centre. 

Actually there was something glacierlike in this German advance. 
It was necessarily slow, because the guns could only move short distances 
in any day, and the transport of munitions became more and more diffi- 
cult as the Russians destroyed the roads and bridges, but it was always 
irresistible, it was always beyond Russian resources to halt it, until the 
hour when it passed the Russian frontier and reached a region destitute 
alike of good roads and good railroads; then it came to a halt of a neces- 
sity. But by this time its work had been done and the task that re- 
mained fell to other armies and in another field. 


When the great blow fell the position of three Russian armies im- 
mediately affected was this: North of the Vistula the army of General 
Evarts stood behind the Nida River, which enters the Vistula from the 
north near the point where the Dunajec flows in from the south. His 
troops had enjoyed quiet for a long time and had no further mission at 
the moment than to hold the sector entrusted to them. South of the Vis- 
tula was the army of Dimitrieff, standing behind the Dunajec before 
Tarnow and thence behind the Biala, right down to the Carpathians. 
It, too, was charged with a defensive mission merely. The army of 
Brusiloff, which made junction with Dimitrieff's in the foothills of the 
Carpathians, faced south, not west as did the other two, and was fighting 
its way into Hungary. It had forced the Dukla and Lupkow passes and 
its victorious troops were already almost within sight of the Hungarian 
plain. This army was the hammer of the Russian military establishment, 
and Allied capitals all too easily believed that, since it had now passed 
the crests of the range, the road to Budapest and Vienna lay open to it. 


Przemysl had fallen on March 22; the Russian troops which had thus 
been released had in the main been sent to Brusiloff, and on May i he 
was still advancing; his army was still victorious, yet it was possible to 
detect a slowing down. Russian progression in the Battle of the Car- 
pathians was never actually ended until the Battle of the Dunajec 


A shows position of General Evarts north of the Vistula. 

5 shows where Dimitrieff's army was practically destroyed by Mackensen's "phalanx." 
C shows position of BrusilofF's army which just managed to escape destruction. 

Lines I, 2, and 3 show the positions successively occupied by the Russians; and the dotted line shows 
the resistless advance of Mackensen's "phalanx." 

compelled Brusiloff to flee a field of victory to escape ruin in conse- 
quence of disaster elsewhere, and yet the strain upon Russia of eight 
months of campaign had been tremendous; Russian suppHes of muni- 
tions were already beginning to dry up and were presently to fail at the 
crucial moment. 

At first only Dimitrieff's army was involved in the German attack. 
Its position was exceedingly good. It had before it the Dunajec River 
and then the Biala, an affluent coming down out of the mountains. 
Both streams were in flood as a result of spring thaws. The lines had 
been very thoroughly fortified and had withstood heavy attacks in the 
past. Indeed, so successfully had they withstood attack that Dimitrieff 


had been led into a fatal error and had prepared no positions to the rear, 
although the Wislok and the Wistok rivers, behind him, offered equally 
good fronts on which to withstand German attack if the Dunajec line 
should be forced. 

Despite the belief at the time, the Russian army at the Dunajec was 
by no means lacking either in munitions or guns. It had the fair allow- 
ance of a Russian army, but this allowance was totally inadequate to 
face the German concentration. In addition, Dimitrieff had behind 
him admirable railroad and highway lines. Two trunk lines, one con- 
necting Cracow with Lemberg via Tarnow, the other running from 
Gorlice to Stryj, supplied his rear. No position of the whole Russian 
front seemed in the closing days of April, 1915, better calculated to hold, 
and no general had a better reputation than the soldier who had broken 
Turkish armies at Lule Burgas and won new laurels in the Lemberg 

Yet on May Day this army was almost totally destroyed by the 
first German attack. The Teutonic artillery had been concentrated 
before Gorlice, which, for the Germans, gives its name to the battle. 
Under a bombardment estimated to have consumed 700,000 shells the 
whole Russian lines of defence collapsed, the trenches were levelled, 
the barbed-wire entanglements destroyed; under the terrible shell-fire 
the Russian troops died in great numbers. Their resistance was not 
merely broken — it was destroyed — and at the end of the first day Dimi- 
trieff's army had almost ceased to exist. Only broken detachments 
were flowing back eastward toward the Wislok. The road was open to 
Mackensen's "phalanx" and the German infantry, passing to the of- 
fensive, forded the Biala and pressed forward. 

Was the German attack a surprise? In the main there can be no 
doubt of it. It was a surprise as Verdun was a surprise. In Galicia, 
as later in Lorraine, Allied observers had reported German activity. 
There was a general suspicion that a heavy blow was to fall, but the 
true magnitude of the blow was not foreseen, could not be foreseen. 
When it fell it tore the Russian defence into ribbons, just as the later 
attack tore the French line from Brabant to Ornes into ribbons. On 


May 2 and 3 the Russian army was in precisely the state of the French 
army on February 23 and 24 a year later. Fortunately for France she 
was able to make a new concentration of men and guns a few miles 
behind the shattered front and pin down the German advance, thus 
localizing the struggle to the Verdun sector. This the Russians could 
not do, and, as a consequence, the effect rapidly extended to adjoining 


The position of Brusilofif's army now became one of extreme peril. 
The collapse of Dimitrieff's army had exposed his flank and rear; the 
victorious Germans were nearer to his lines of communication than were 
his main forces, which were far south of the Carpathians. And the 
German advance was moving rapidly across his rear with the clear pur- 
pose to seize these lines of communication and thus encircle him, throw- 
ing Mackensen's forces to his rear, while the armies before him in the 
Carpathians passed to the attack to hold his troops on their front. Yet 
Brusiloff did escape and his escape is as brilliant as the similar manoeuvre 
of Kluck before Paris, when the German general slipped away from the 
British and brought his troops back to parry and beat down the deadly 
thrust of the French north of the Marne and west of the Ourcq. 

Had Dimitrieff^ taken the trouble to prepare a line behind him at the 
Wislok, there would have been no great danger to Brusiloff and his 
retreat might have been deliberate, although there is little reason 
to believe that the Russians could have fought more than a delaying 
fight at this stream, for the German artillery concentration was too over- 
whelming to allow sustained resistance by an army as hopelessly out- 
gunned as the Russian. On May 7 the German advance passed the 
Wislok at the important railroad junction of Jaslo. The next day the 
Germans were across the Wistok, another river coming north out of the 
Carpathians parallel to the Dunajec and the Wislok and again offering 
an advantageous defensive position, had the Russians guarded against 
defeat. As it was there was little defence, for there were no trench lines. 

Brusiloff was now all but enveloped. His position had been a salient 
at the start and the Germans were almost across the neck of the loop. 


He was saved because Russian reserves, concentrated at Przemysl, were 
pushed out along the upper Wistok and succeeded in halting the German 
drive for a few hours. This gave Brusiloff just time to slip out of the 
rapidly tightening noose. He did not get all his troops away; a division 
was caught, many guns and men were lost; but by May 12 his main 
forces were behind the San, and the Russian front had been restored. 
It had been restored in the sense that thenceforth the Germans were to 
face organized resistance — the days after Dimitrieff's collapse, when they 
had no real organized force before them, were over. So also was the 
chance of a supreme success, the capture of the Russian armies in the 
Carpathians. Only once more, this time at Vilna, were the Russians to 
face as terrible a danger, and there their escape was much easier. 

The end of the second week in May then sees the Russian armies 
once more in line. Evarts has retired from the Nida to conform to the 
retreat south of the Vistula. Dimitrieff's army has ceased to exist, but 
a new army is in position from the Vistula along the San through 
Jaroslav and Przemysl to the Carpathians. 

On this front was fought the Battle of the San, which was a final 
effort of the Russians to beat down the German thrust, as they had 
beaten down an Austrian thrust on the same front in the previous year. 
But the effort was vain. Mackensen had moved his "phalanx" north- 
eastward along the railroad from Gorlice to Jaslo and from Jaslo to 
Rzeszow, where the branch line joined the main Lemberg-Cracow trunk 
line. He now forced the passage of the San at Jaroslav and by forcing 
the line of the San compelled a new Russian retreat, this time to the very 
gates of Lemberg, to the famous Grodek line, a system of lakes and 
marshes a few miles west of the Galician capital. 

Meantime the Austro-German army, which had been holding Brusi- 
loff in the Carpathians, pushed north and struck in the rear of Przemysl, 
seeking to encircle it from the south, as Mackensen, having passed the 
San, aimed at encircling it from the north. In the face of this double 
thrust the Russians clung to Przemysl until June 2, always, however, 
with the clear recognition that it must ultimately be abandoned. Six 
weeks after this stronghold had fallen to Russian arms a Bavarian con- 


tingent entered the town, on the heels of the Russian troops who just 
sHpped between the sides of the closing neck of the salient and took the 
road to Lemberg. 

Meantime, counter-offensives, by Evarts north of the Vistula and by 
Lechitsky on the front of Bukovina, had won smart local successes, but 
despite large captures of prisoners these operations could not influence 
the main campaign. The first days of June saw the Russians standing 
north of the Dniester and east of the Grodek Lakes. All of western 
Galicia'had been lost and German troops were already across the Rus- 
sian frontier east of the San. The Galician campaign was entering its 
last phase. 


In the Grodek line the Russians occupied the last defensive line 
covering Lemberg. Of itself the position was impregnable and their 
southern flank was securely posted behind the Dneister. But if the 
artillery of Mackensen could not penetrate the swamps and marshes of 
the Grodek region, there was open to them a road by which they might 
turn them. Northward from Jaroslav to Rawa Russka ran the railroad 
down which Russky had come in his great attack of September, 1914. 
He had turned the Grodek line by coming round the northern end of the 
swampy country and defeating the Austrians at Rawa Russka. Once 
he had won a victory about this town, the Austrians had to fall back 
behind the San. 

Mackensen simply reversed the proceeding. He moved from Jaro- 
slav north to Rawa Russka, defeated the Russian troops there by means 
of his heavy artillery, and then began to turn south toward Lemberg 
and across the rear of the Russian armies. The threat was sufficient. 
June 22 the Russian armies left the Galician capital, which they had occu- 
pied since the first days of September, 1914. All the vast railroad net- 
work was restored to Austrian hands. Galicia was reconquered save for 
a small strip in the east. First taking up their position behind the Gnila 
Lipa, the line on which the Austrians had defended Lemberg in the pre- 
vious year, the Russians presently withdrew behind the Zlota Lipa and 
then to the Sereth, where at last their retreat in Galicia came to an end. 


Thus, in a campaign of less than eight weeks, Geimany had freed 
Galicia. She had retaken more than 30,000 square miles of territory, 
with all their valuable oil wells and railroad lines. She had deprived Rus- 
sia of the fruits of eight months of effort. She had destroyed one Rus- 
sian army and disorganized three. She had abolished the threat to 
Austria and regained the offensive in the east. The consequences of 
Austrian defeat at Lemberg in August and September, 1914, ceased to 
dictate eastern operations. Austria was saved. Russia was now en- 
dangered and the campaign in the east had only begun. 

Actually the German operation had restored the condition on the 
eastern front that had existed in the first days of the war. The Warsaw 
salient, abolished by Russian advance in Galicia, was as it had been when 
Austria had launched her first blow toward Lublin. The Russians were 
now in the posture they had foreseen before the war, when they had 
planned to evacuate Poland and begin their fight along the Bug, a plan 
temporarily discarded when Germany decided to go west and left to 
Austria the task of disposing of Russian attacks until German armies 
had entered Paris and crushed France. 

The situation of the Central Powers, however, was vastly different 
from that of August, 1914. Now Germany had great armies in the east, 
while on the west she was simply seeking to hold her lines and for this 
utilizing her great superiority in heavy artillery and machine guns. 
Now that Mackensen had cleared Galicia, Hindenburg was in a position 
from which he could assail the Warsaw salient north and south simul- 
taneously and at the same time continue pressure at the centre between 
Warsaw and Ivangorod. 

In the previous year Russia had been able to put good armies in 
the field reasonably well equipped for a short campaign. But ten 
months of battle had weakened these armies; their supplies of muni- 
tions were rapidly diminishing; there were lacking guns and equipment 
for new troops ready to take their place in line. In fact, Warsaw and 
Brest-Litovsk were already doomed and a Russian collapse was to be 
prevented now only if France and Britain, by attacks on the west front, 
could divert German guns and German troops to Artois or Champagne 


in such numbers as to give the Russians a breathing spell. Only this 
intervention could deprive Germany of the opportunity to harvest the 
fruits of her great success, and since no such intervention was possible, 
the tide of German success was to continue uninterrupted for many 

The Dunajec was therefore the second of the great battles of the war 
and one of the memorable contests in all military history. It was a 
Napoleonic triumph in its proportions and in its conception. It must 
rank in German military history with Tannenberg. The one saved 
Prussia; the other first rescued Austria, threatened with invasion and 
destruction, then brought Russia to the point of collapse and then to 
revolution. Whatever the final outcome of the war, its efi^ect upon 
eastern Europe was bound to be decisive. For the House of Romanoff, 
the Dunajec was as fatal as Leipzig proved for the First Napoleon. 





On the morrow of his victories of Lutzen and Bautzen in 1813, 
Napoleon found himself confronted by a new antagonist. While the 
French Emperor was still successful in Silesia and Saxony, Austria 
joined the coalition fighting him. At the moment when their victorious 
armies were approaching Lemberg, the same thing now happened to 
Germany and Austria. At the most favourable hour in the conflict since 
the defeat at the Marne, the Central Powers were confronted by the 
Italian declaration of war — a declaration directed only at Austria-Hun- 
gary, to be sure, but bound to be extended in time to include Germany 
and, since the fate of Germany was now so inextricably bound up with 
that of Austria, having the actual effect of a declaration of war upon 
both Hohenzollern and Hapsburg Empires. 

The decision of Italy proceeded from the mass of the people, "from 
the street," to use the contemptuous phrase of Prince von Biilow, de- 
scribing the tumultuous crowds which, in the last days of May, 1915, 
thronged the streets of Milan, of Florence, of Rome itself, clamouring for 
war against the ancient oppressor of all Italy and against the dynasty 
which still held under its heavy hand the Italia Irredenta— Trieste and 
the Trentino. It was the millions who decided the course of Italy in 
May. Yet these millions after all were but following the course which clear- 
visioned statesmen had already foreseen. D'Annunzio, hailed by the 
masses, speaking in terms approaching lyric frenzy as he denounced the 
"traitors" to Italy who opposed Italian intervention, had but adopted 
the course which Sonnino, the Prime Minister, after calm reflection and 
cold judgment, had determined was the only possible course for Italy. 

Like Austria in 1813, Italy in 1915 looked out upon a Europe which 


was bound to be remade as a consequence of the great struggle that was 
being waged. Should Italy remain neutral only a drawn battle could 
save her from actual injury. No matter which of the groups of powers 
won the war, a neutral Italy would suffer, for if the Allies tri- 
umphed, Slav and Greek states, enormously magnified, might occupy 
the eastern shore of the Adriatic from the Julian Alps to the Strait of 
Otranto, while if the Central Powers were victorious, Austria would 
descend to Salonica and Germany occupy Asiatic Turkey as a detail 
in the Teutonic dream of Mitteleuropa. 

From the first days of the conflict — when the proclamation of Italian 
neutrality permitted the French to withdraw their troops from the 
Italian frontier, move their garrisons from North Africa and gather up 
the armies which were just strong enough, given all these advantages, to 
check the German advance at the Marne — Italy was bound to choose 
between the two great groups. Permanent neutrality was impossible, 
save only if the prospect that a victory would escape both contestants 
should be unmistakable. Nor was there ever any real hope that Italy 
could with profit to herself play the role described by a witty Frenchman 
as "rushing to the succour of the victor." 

And by May, 1915, it was clear that the prospect of a drawn battle 
was still absent. Fortune had changed and was to change again. Be- 
fore the Marne a German victory seemed assured. After the close of 
the western campaign and the concentration of world interest on the 
eastern front, Austrian defeats suggested a collapse in the Hapsburg 
Empire. Russia, victorious for the moment, began to discuss the erec- 
tion along the Adriatic shores of a Jugo-Slavic state, which would include 
Serbia, Montenegro, Dalmatia, Croatia, and the Istrian shores. 

While the war went on, while the decision was still doubtful, both 
groups of powers were bound to bid for Italian aid, to offer a consider- 
able price, because between the two groups Italy now held the balance of 
power, but once peace had been restored and the victorious alliance had 
established its success beyond challenge, it would have no need to con- 
sult Italy in drawing its peace terms and no reason to fear an Italian 
challenge wherever these terms interfered with Italian aspirations. 


London and Paris saw this fact only vaguely; the mass of the Italian 
people did not perceive it at all. Their emotions were roused by 
ancient wrongs and contemporary grievances. Above all, the intellec- 
tual element, the party of youth, was stirred by the fact that, while Italy's 
unredeemed lands still beckoned, while opportunity to acquire Trieste 
and the Trentino became more splendid each day, German agents and 
German representatives, having corrupted Italian politicians and laid 
hands upon Italian finance and industry, mobilized public men and in- 
fluential journals in the Peninsula in support of that neutrality which 
involved the sacrifice of Italian aspirations to German purposes. 

In the end the Italian decision was made in an hour of passion hardly 
to be paralleled in modern history. A Parliament, controlled by 
corrupt and bureaucratic tools of Germany; a Crown, reluctant to enter 
a war against a fellow sovereign who had been, until yesterday, an ally 
and a friend, were swept out of the pathway. Yet when the passion had 
died away, when the war became a grim and unromantic business and the 
examination of the Italian decision in the light of sober and matured 
judgment was made, it was perceived that no other decision had ever 
been possible and it was recognized that, for once at least, the people 
had been wiser than many of their leaders and the instinct of a race had 
asserted itself in wise opposition to the representatives of the people 
who sat on the Capitoline Hill. 


Young Italy of the first years of the Twentieth Century had certain 
definite aims and aspirations. These were the aspirations of a people, 
long the subjects of brutal and selfish foreign tyranny, tardily come to 
independence, and now, after sombre years of domestic hardship and 
self-discipline, arrived at the point from which they believed they could 
undertake to achieve for their country abroad a rank to which its popula- 
tion, position, and recent progress gave it title. 

In the generation that lay between the occupation of Rome and the 
close of the last century Italy had time and again seen her position in the 
world made humiliating through her inability to urge her own claims 


with more than passive earnestness. France had shouldered her out of 
Tunis. Austria had annexed Bosnia. Britain had laid hands upon 
Eg5^t and Cyprus and was transforming the Mediterranean into a Brit- 
ish lake. Within the Triple Alliance Italy was treated rather as a poor 
relative than as an equal. Outside of the Alliance, France and Russia, 
indignant at Italian presence in a hostile group, treated Italian policies 
and Italian aspirations with contemptuous hostility. 

In Abyssinia an Italian effort to erect a colonial empire had met with 
terrible disaster and Adowa had been a demonstration for Europe of 
Italian military weakness. Poverty and misery at home, a feeble 
foreign policy, and an abject subservience to German dictation, this had 
been the history of Italian affairs from the moment when unity was 
achieved to the hour when a new century was to usher in a new and for 
the Italian patriots a happier age. 

Looking at the first years of this century it is possible to detect unmis- 
takable evidence of another " risorgimento" a new stirring of old dreams, 
a growing determination to transform the world view of Italy as a museum 
and a repository of artistic splendour into a recognition of Italy as a virile 
and contemporary fact in a world of realities. Like Germany, Italy was 
seeking her "place in the sun"; like Germany, Italy, the Young Italy 
which was rising, felt a sense of wrong, of shame, in the fact that its coun- 
try was still great only in their dreams and that its influence was re- 
stricted, while more fortunate rivals continued to paint their colours on 
the maps of Asia and Africa and lay the foundations for future greatness 
beyond the narrow limits of Europe. 

This Young Italy was, in its first days, neither hostile to Germany nor 
friendly with the enemies of Germany. It was neither Germanophile 
nor Francophile; it was not even Anglophile as the Young Italy of 
Mazzini had been. It was intensely national and it dreamed of attain- 
ing national objects, whether by alliance with Germany or with France 
it did not matter. Another generation had won Piedmont with French 
aid and Vcnetia with Prussian. The same realistic spirit stirred in the 
later generation. 

Yet when this Young Italy faced the question of how it could attain 


its objectives it was clear from the outset that Austria-Hungary must 
first be removed from the pathway. Whatever else Italy dreamed of — 
and the group of nationalists who were rising to influence had far- 
shining visions — it was essential first of all to achieve security at home by 
possessing the Trentino gateway to the northern plain. Garibaldi in 
1866 had invaded the Trentino and looked down upon Trent from the 
hills, but had been recalled by a timid government. Bismarck had given 
scant hearing and no comfort to his ally when, after Sadowa, Italy 
had asked for the restoration of the frontier fixed by Napoleon for his 
Kingdom of Italy, the frontier which would give to Italy the gateway 
to her own lands, the gateway by which invasions, from time imme- 
morial, had descended from the Brenner Pass to the Venetian plain. 

Nor did the possession of Trent complete the programme of Young 
Italy for unifying Italy. Across the Isonzo, in the city of Trieste, more 
than 120,000 Italians were subjected to a brutal and stupid tyranny. 
Fearful of eventual Italian advance, Austria had sought to destroy 
Italian claims by submerging Italian-speaking populations in the flood 
of Slav immigrants who, led by official suggestion and invitation, de- 
scended from the mountains and in ever-growing numbers settled in 
Trieste and in Istria. In the same fashion German-speaking settlers 
were thrust into the Italian communities of the Trentino. Thus, pre- 
cisely as Germany by her stupid and harsh procedure in Alsace-Lorraine 
kept this question always before the world, always in the news of the 
day for the Frenchman, Austrian cruelty and oppression multiplied 
these "incidents" by which Italians were constantly reminded of their 
brethren beyond their frontiers, who still paid that price for race loyalty 
which had been demanded of Italians in Venice and Milan half a century 

And as the Pan-German in Prussia did not limit his aspirations to the 
liberation of German populations beyond his frontiers but also turned 
his eyes toward regions once included in the German Empires of the past 
but inhabited by other races than the German and now destitute of all 
ambition to become German, Young Italy looked southward from 
Venice along the Dalmatian coast where the ruins of Roman baths 


flanked the palaces of Venetian governors, and thence toward the Near 
East, in whose waters Venice had been supreme and along whose shores 
Rome had once ruled unchallenged. 

French supremacy in North Africa from the Syrtes to the Pillars of 
Hercules Young Italy had accepted, reserving Tripoli for their share — 
their meagre share of what had been one of the fairest fields of Roman 
colonization — but toward the ^gean, toward Asia Minor, toward 
Smyrna and Alexandretta, the new generation of Italian patriots looked 
with undisguised ambition. To make the Adriatic an Italian lake, to 
hold its ports, still bearing Italian names even on that east coast where 
the Slav wave was more and more submerging the Italian tongue, from 
Trieste to Valona, this was the dream of the Young Italy which was ris- 
ing, which was now making its voice heard. 

But all such aspirations encountered the ancient enemy in a new posi- 
tion. The House of Hapsburg, pushed back from the Mincio and the 
Adda, from the old Quadrilateral of Peschiera, Mantua, Verona, and 
Legnago, still clung to Riva and Trent, Gorizia and Gradisca; still held 
the eastward gateway between the Julian Alps and the Gulf of Trieste 
and the southern sallyport of Teutonism, between the Brenner Pass and 
the upper reaches of Lago de Garda. Vienna, too, was nourishing a 
dream of a southward march, by the Vardar Valley to Salonica, by the 
Morava route to the Golden Horn and thence to the Near East by the 
Hellespont. And behind this Austrian dream, beyond the Hapsburg 
capacity to realize unaided were the German hand and the German voice, 
which had bidden Italy abandon her longings for Trieste and had vetoed 
the Italian aspiration for Valona and an Albanian protectorate. 


An ancient wrong, a contemporary grievance, and a clash of aspira- 
tions as to the future in the Adriatic and the ^Egean, in Albania and 
Anatolia, thus divided Italy from Austria, while the two states were still 
allies. Because the bitterness was so great, Count Nigra had affirmed 
that Italy and Austria could only be open foes or actual allies and for 
thirty years Italian policy had deemed it wiser, since Italy was incapable 


of fighting Austria backed by German arms, to endure the humiliation 
incident to an alliance rather than to court the disaster which must 
accompany war. 

Yet now, when one comes to examine the reasons for Italy's decision 
to join the foes of the Central Alliance, it is essential to grasp how com- 
pletely this Triple Alliance had been for the Italians a marriage of con- 
venience of a truly sordid character. From this alliance Italy could only 
derive security; for this security she paid the price which was passive 
adherence to conditions even then well-nigh intolerable and seemingly 
destined in the future to be fatal to all Italian aspirations. Italy 
desired to regain her "lost provinces" of Trieste and the Trentino; 
both were Austrian, and, while Austria showed no intention of parting 
with the Trentino, which gave her military control in a real sense of the 
Northern Italian Plain, which gave her the keys to the Valley of the Po 
and to the great industrial cities of the Savoy Monarchy, Germany and 
Austria both were necessarily and unequivocally determined to retain 
Trieste, Austria's sole considerable seaport and the prospective doorway 
of the Pan-German Mitteleuropa upon the Adriatic Sea. 

The Libyan War of 1912 demonstrated unmistakably the futility of 
Italy's foreign policy. Austria had annexed Bosnia in 1908. France 
had acquired German consent to her supremacy in Morocco in 1909, after 
Agadir and in return for " compensations " paid to Germany in the Congo. 
Italy had long possessed the consent of France, Britain, and Russia to 
take Tripoli, but when she sought to realize her claim, at least as valid as 
that pressed by Germany for "compensations" when France took 
Morocco, the Italians found themselves confronted by the hostility 
of Germany and by the undisguised threats and menaces of Austria, 
while the Turkish resistance in Tripoli owed much to German inspira- 

And this Libyan War was, after all, the first clear expression of 
Young Italy. It was little understood outside of the Italian Kingdom. 
It was acquiesced in rather than encouraged in London, where many 
bitter criticisms were voiced by a press still Turcophile. It was accom- 
panied by sharp clashes with France, whose Tunisian interests were 


affected and even injured. But the real opposition came from Italy's 
allies and every Italian step was greeted by protest and angry denunci- 
ation. Was it not Bernhardi who wrote in 191 1 that wise German policy 
would have been served by German attack upon Italy and in behalf of 
Turkey at this juncture? 

After the Libyan War the Triple Alliance, as far as Italy was con- 
cerned, was dead. When the World War broke, Italy hastened her 
proclamation of neutrality, thus giving France a real and incalculable 
advantage. After August, 1914, the single question became for the 
Italian people one as between neutraHty and participation upon the 
Allied side. To join the Central Powers was almost inevitably to bring 
them the victory; but that victory meant the consolidation of German 
power from the Baltic to the Persian Gulf; it meant transforming the 
Balkans into a Hapsburg appendage; it meant that Austrian rule would 
descend the Adriatic to Valona; it meant that Greece, ruled by a sover- 
eign who was a German Field Marshal and the brother-in-law of William 
II, would become a German puppet, and that Bulgaria, controlled by an 
Austrian Czarlet, would be but the corner stone in the arch that would 
bear German power from Europe to Asia. 

To give of her blood and her treasure in such a cause could bring 
Italy no reward. There was no one of her ambitions which could be 
realized, nor was she prepared to listen to the German urgings to face 
westward and turn her attention to Tunis and to Algeria, to surrender 
her dreams of rescuing Italian populations along the Adriatic and seek 
to reclaim Corsica and Nice, which despite their older association with 
Italy were now contented and patriotic departments of the French Re- 
public. Even if Italy cherished such aspirations, and she did not, Germar. 
power could not protect her against British fleets, and her own cities and 
islands were bound to be victims of any such aggression against France, 
now allied with Britain. 


On the other hand, what would Italian neutrality achieve with 
respect to the Grand Alliance against Germany should it triumph.? 


Certainly it would earn temporary gratitude, a new friendship. Nei- 
ther the British nor the French would fail to recognize the service ren- 
dered even by neutrality. But beyond this they might not go. Russia 
was sponsor for the Serb dream of a new Jugo-Slavic state, including 
Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, and on the maps of the Southern Slavs 
this state included Trieste as well as Cattaro, Fiume as well as Durazzo. 

Nothing was more certain than that if the Grand Alliance won the 
war it would seek to limit and block German advance to the Balkans 
by the creation of a great Southern Slav confederation along the Adriatic, 
and such a confederation would have an area equal to that of continen- 
tal Italy and at no distant date might become a rival on the Adriatic, 
possessing, as it would, all the good harbours and occupying those islands 
which are the naval keys to this inland sea. As between the urgings of 
Russia, which had borne the burden of the battle, and the pleas of an 
Italy which had remained neutral, could any one doubt what view would 
prevail in London and in Paris, particularly as it was becoming a 
cardinal doctrine in Allied policy that a strong Slav state must be created 
to bar the road of Germany to the Golden Horn.? 

Nor was this all. Italy looked both to Albania and to the mainland 
of Asia Minor for her future colonial expansion. But when the Allied 
fleet approached the Dardanelles, Allied statesmen began to make bids 
for Greek aid, bids which were favourably heard by Venizelos, though 
ultimately repulsed by the Kaiser's faithful brother-in-law, the King of 
Greece. Northern Epirus, the Greek cities of Asia Minor from Smyrna 
to the Adalian district, already marked by Italy for her own, were prof- 
ered to the Greeks as the price for sending their army to Gallipoli. 

Here again Italy was faced by an unmistakable fact. Greece was her 
real rival in the Near East. For five centuries the Greeks had cherished 
the dream of a restoration of the Byzantine Empire, a hope witnessed 
when their new King took the title of Constantine. Given the Hellenic 
commercial ability, given the amazing vitality of the race and its capac- 
ity to endure and to reassert itself, nothing was more probable than that 
the i$^gean would be turned into a Greek lake when Greece held both 
Salonica and Smyrna. Nor was it less certain that this new, strong 


state, by reason of Its association with the Grand AlHance, would re- 
ceive their guarantee after the war and would become their soldier in the 
-^gean, as the new Slavic state would be their servant on the Danube 
and along the Adriatic. 

Thus neutrality was for Italy only less perilous than association 
with the Triple Alliance. If she chose the German way, she sacrificed 
to Germany and Austria directly all chance of realizing her dreams. If 
she refrained from all part in the war she was faced with the probability 
that a victorious Grand Alliance, able to speak with the assurance and 
in the tone of the victor, would erect new states on the territory 
which was claimed for Italy and that under the guarantee of the Grand 
Alliance, these new Slavic and Hellenic states would shortly become 
capable of defending themselves against all Italian attack, even if the 
support of the Great Powers were presently withdrawn. 

Policy thus fused with patriotic emotion in the Italian decision. 
The memories of the old struggle for liberty and unity, which had failed 
to complete the work of restoring Italy, since it left Trieste and the 
Trentino outside the kingdom, shared in the Italian mind with patriotic 
aspirations for the future, for the acquisition for Italy of a position 
commensurate with her present power and worthy of the nation which 
was the heir of Rome and the residuary legatee of Venice. From the 
moment when the war broke the old memories and the old wrongs, 
which had a present phase, made it imposible for the Italians to fight 
alongside the Austrian and the German, but as Italy's past and present 
demanded Austro-German defeat, her future required that she should 
share in Allied victory that she might, once the victory was won, speak 
as an ally in the congress in which peace terms would be made and claim 
as one who had bore her share of the burden that portion of the profits 
which Italian ambitions had already marked out. 

It is necessary, at the outset of Italy's operations, to recognize the 
distinction between her policy and that of the nations whose ally she 
became. France fought for her life and, once Germany had forced a 
new war upon her, for her lost provinces of Alsace and Lorraine. Brit- 
ain fought for her imperial existence, tardily recognized as the ultimate 


target of Germany. Russia had drawn her sword to save Serbia. The 
Turkish enhstment had raised the question of the Straits and the British 
and French had agreed to Russian possession at Constantinople. But, 
save in Turkey, Russian purposes were in the main those of Hberation. 
She sought to free the remainder of Poland, still condemned to German 
and Austrian rule, to win liberty for the millions of Austrian and Hunga- 
rian Slavs, her race brothers, subjected to Teutonic and Magyar yokes. 

But Italy, pursuing a policy which aimed at liberating the Italians 
of Trieste and the Trentino, not less clearly sought objects which were 
selfish and detrimental to the proper ambitions of the Greek and Serb 
races. She fixed her eyes upon lands which were peopled by races 
whose wish was not to be Italian but Hellenic or Slavic. And when 
the Russian Revolution was followed by a renunciation by the new Rus- 
sian Government of all territorial ambitions cherished by the previous 
regime, certain of Italy's aspirations stood out in clear conflict with the 
spirit of her other Allies, who had adopted and in the main adhered to a 
programme which sought to liberate many races but to enslave none, i 

Italian purpose was thus, in a measure, tinged with a German spirit. 
Young Italy, like New Germany, like the Pan-Germans of Prussia, 
sought to serve the ends of the greater state they dreamed of, by the 
sacrifice of the nationalistic ideals of other races. Those who cried up 
Italy's claim to lands inhabited by race brothers along the Isonzo and 
the Adige cried down the claims of the Serb for Dalmatia and of the 
Greek for Northern Epirus and the islands of the jEgean which were 
far more Hellenic in character and more unitedly desirous of Greek 
citizenship than were the people of Istria Latin or clamorous for Italian 
sovereignty. It is necessary then to recognize that, great as was the 
military advantage incident to Italy's accession to the Allied cause, 
it necessitated certain compromises, which weakened the Allied cause 
on the moral side In the eyes of neutral mankind. 

Nor is It less essential to recognize that when Italy entered the war 
her known purposes rallied the Southern Slavs to the House of Hapsburg 
and the troops which had fought Indiff'erently against the Russian re- 
sisted with admirable tenacity and success each Italian assault along the 


Isonzo. And in the same tashion, the Italian entrance gave new 
strength to Constantine in Athens and enabled him, with the support of 
many Greek patriots already enraged by Italian presence at Rhodes and 
in the Dodecanese, to prevent Venizelos from putting Greece into the war 
on the Allied side in the critical days of the following summer, when the 
fate of Serbia was at stake, as it earlier enabled him to veto the decision 
of Venizelos to send Greek troops to Gallipoli to aid the British army. 
Either step, had it been taken by the Greeks, might have changed the 
whole course of the war in the Balkans. 


Having now set forth the reasons which made it always inevitable 
that Italy would one day take her place in the Allied ranks, the actual 
march of events can be reviewed with little delay. Italy's neutrality had 
been proclaimed on August 6, 19 14. The pact of the Triple Alliance bound 
the high contracting parties to mutual defence, but the Italians asserted 
that it had no application in a war that was the result of an Austrian 
ultimatum designed to provoke war. Since the Italian course had been ex- 
pected it created no surprise and little bitterness either in Vienna or Berlin. 

In the days during which the German armies approached Paris, 
Italy was condemned to watch with ever-growing anxiety the prospective 
triumph of an ancient ally, whose course as a victor might be unfriendly 
toward the nation which had abandoned it at the moment of war. When 
the German advance was halted and thrown back, this anxiety disap- 
peared. As the probability of a long war grew, it became more and more 
important that Italy should adopt a definite policy. In December, when 
Austria invaded Serbia and seemed destined to win a great victory, Italy 
called attention in Vienna to the provision of the Treaty of the Triple Al- 
liance which asserted that if either Austria or Italy disturbed the status 
quo in the Balkans, the other should be entitled to ask compensation. 

But the Austrian disaster at Valievo and the subsequent flight out 
of Serbia temporarily disposed of this question, although Italy, on Christ- 
mas Day, crossed the Straits of Otranto and landed troops at Valona 
in Albania, a step violently resented in Vienna. During the winter, 


while Russian armies continued to advance in Austria, Italian appre- 
hensions were again aroused, this time by the fear lest Austria should 
collapse and a victorious Russia erect a Southern Slav Confederation 
along the Adriatic, including lands desired by Italy; and in the spring the 
sound of Allied guns at the Dardanelles stirred other anxieties not less 
keen. And all through this time the party which advocated interven- 
tion steadily grew stronger in Italy. 

Germany sent her ablest diplomat. Prince von Biilow, allied to 
Italian nobility through his wife, towage the battle against intervention. 
To his aid Biilow called all the vast financial agencies which Germany 
had established in Italy. He bought newspapers and politicians. He 
conducted a propaganda of colossal proportions. He became in fact 
almost a master of Italian affairs, and his success was in the end his ruin. 
The spectacle of a German controlling their public men, their press, and 
their policy eventually roused the Italians, and Biilow was presently 
greeted with the old Garibaldian hymn : " Stranger, begone out of Italy." 

Again and again the Sonino-Salandra cabinet informed Vienna that 
Italian neutrality could not be maintained if Austria declined tomakeany 
concession in the matter of Trieste and the Trentino. Biilow himself 
undertook to persuade Austria to yield and ultimately Vienna grudgingly 
offered to cede a portion of the Trentino, including Trent, the delivery 
to be made at the close of the war as a reward for Italian neutrality. 

To this Rome replied on April 8 by what amounted to an 
ultimatum, in which Italy demanded immediate possession of the 
Trentino, the separation of Trieste and its adjoining district from the 
Hapsburg Empire, and the cession of certain Adriatic islands. Trieste 
was to be constituted a neutral state between Italy and Austria. 

To this Austria made no satisfactory response. Accordingly, on 
April 24, Italy at last made her arrangement with the Allies and on 
May 3 denounced the Triple Alliance. The end was now in sight. 

At this moment Italy was seized by a patriotic emotion which can 
hardly be paralleled in history. The anniversary of the sailing of 
Garibaldi and his Thousand was at hand. D'Annunzio returned to 
Italy, the prophet and apostle of intervention. The country was filled 


with patriotic demonstrations, the cities were nightly the scenes of 
processions and of outbursts. More and more the spirit of the masses 
was becoming inflamed. 

At this moment Billow played his last card. Giolitti, the political 
master of the Italian Parliament, returned to Rome from seclusion. 
The man who had made and unmade cabinets, who possessed a political 
machine surpassing any similar American institution, journeyed to the 
capital for the purpose of overthrowing the Sonino-Salandra Cabinet, ac- 
cepting new concessions from Austria, which Biilow had provided, and pre- 
serving Italian neutrality. Three quarters of the members of the Italian 
parliamentary body were his own. He controlled the prefects of the va- 
rious provinces. He was backed by all the financial and industrial insti- 
tutions which had German sympathies or were under German control. 

What followed amounted to a bloodless revolution. The Sonino- 
Salandra Cabinet, conscious of Giolitti's strength and of his ability and 
purpose to upset and repudiate their agreement with the Allies made on 
April 24, resigned. Giolitti saw the King, but at this moment the Ro- 
man populace, fired by D'Annunzio's addresses, took charge. In a few 
hours the streets of the Eternal City were filled with thousands of citi- 
zens marching to the music of Garibaldi's hymn and boldly proclaiming 
that there would be war or revolution. The very safety of the House of 
Savoy was challenged when the masses came to believe that the King 
had joined Giolitti in his effort to avoid war. 

In a few hours Giolitti was on his way back to the north, a political 
exile; the Sonino-Salandra Cabinet had been restored and the vote of 
confidence of Parliament had underwritten its agreement with the Allies. 
Italian policy had been dictated by "the Street," as Biilow now de- 
clared. On May 23 Italy was at war with Austria. 


The entrance of Italy into the war was a great victory for the Allies 
and almost a disaster for the Central Powers. Although Berlin and 
Vienna had long foreseen this eventuality, when it arrived its effect 
was not less considerable. It robbed the victory of the Dunajec of 


much of its meaning. It inevitably postponed the arrival of a decision 
and thus diminished the chance of German victory. It forecast the 
day when Italy would extend her declaration of war to include Germany 
and thus complete the forging of an iron circle about the Fatherland, as 
it now closed Italian ports to neutral ships which had hitherto brought 
copper and other materials necessary to German munition making. 
It gave to the war the character of the earlier Napoleonic struggles, 
when the whole continent rallied against France. 

The Italian army, numbering more than 700,000 on a war footing and 
capable of almost indefinite expansion — given Italy's population of 
35,000,000 — had been reorganized since the outbreak of hostilities the 
previous year. Lacking still in heavy guns and in the machinery of 
war — which democratic nations can purchase only after war has come 
and can be acquired in peace only by an autocratic state like Prussia, 
preparing for an attack upon its neighbours — it was still an accession of 
manifest importance; while the efficient and considerable Italian 
navy was able at once to take over a portion of the task of the French 
fleet, which had watched at the entrance to the Adriatic Sea. 

On the other hand, the Allies naturally exaggerated the immediate 
effect of Italian intervention. They did not rightly estimate the 
strength of the barrier fortresses which Austria had constructed nor 
accurately appraise the obstacles in the way of Italian progress. Nor 
did they at first understand that Austria, long expecting the attack, 
had kept her troops on the Italian border on a war footing and was 
ready for the attack when it came. Equally unknown to them was the 
fact that Austrian Slav troops would be rallied to the Hapsburg throne 
by the Italian attack and that out of these elements, next to worthless 
in the face of Russian troops, Austria would be able to fashion armies 
which, aided by heavy artillery, would check and subsequently defeat 
the Italians at the Isonzo and before Trieste. 

These miscalculations led to grave disappointments and some unjust 
criticism as the war proceeded and Italy did not arrive at Trieste or 
Laibach. Since Austria had made provision against the Italian assault 
before the Dunajec campaign was undertaken, when it came she did 


not have to recall troops immediately from the east. Italy's decision 
consequently failed to change the course of the Galician or Polish 
operations. Entering the war after the disaster of the Dunajec, Italy 
could not save Russia; and to expect this was unfair. 

The failure of Italy to participate in the Gallipoli campaign and in 
the subsequent Balkan operation led to equally unjust criticism. Much 
of this was stilled when the Austrians made their great offensive through 
the Trentino the following spring and almost reached the Venetian plain. 
Then at last something of the Italian problem began to dawn upon the 
Allied publics. The Italian failure to declare war upon Germany gave 
just ground for complaint; the obvious clash between Italian and Serb 
ambitions and the coldness of Italian sentiment toward the Southern 
Slavs awakened presentment. Yet Italy not unnaturally reserved the 
right, having entered the war with fixed objects and with definite ends 
to attain, to pursue her course and serve her own interests first. In the 
end, this lack of mutual cooperation and of common purpose brought 
Italy to the edge of ruin in the closing weeks of 1917, but at the outset 
it merely checked the Allied enthusiasm at Italy's entrance into the war. 

As for the Italian campaign of 191 5, it was marked by no event of 
great importance. Along the Trentino and at the Isonzo, after brilliant 
initial advances, the Italian troops were brought up before the per- 
manent lines of Austrian defence and thereafter made only incon- 
siderable progress. These operations and the whole field of Austro- 
Italian fighting will be discussed in the later phase, wherein real Italian 
progress begins, but in the period now under review Italy's service 
consisted in permanently fixing some hundreds of thousands of Austrian 
troops on the southwest, putting a new burden upon Austrian 
munitions and man-power and thus accelerating Austrian exhaustion. 
She was unable to do more, nor were France and Britain able to 
achieve much greater results in their 1915 offensive. And if the 
results of Italy's enlistment were thus disappointing, by her entrance 
a possible foe became for the Allies a help instead of a peril, and if 
the immediate value of the military aid was exaggerated the moral 
value could not be. 





Athens, facing a terrific struggle in the Greek peninsula, listened to 
the specious pleadings of Alcibiades and sent her best troops and her 
great fleet westward to Sicily to seek there a brilliant victory. The 
daring gamble failed, the army and ships were lost, and as a result Athens 
fell before Sparta. In the Gallipoli venture Britain was now to make, 
there was a fair parallel with the Athenian blunder and there was about 
Winston Churchill, who was responsible for the decision, much that 
would suggest Alcibiades. 

To send old ships which, even if lost, would not change the naval 
situation was a legitimate gamble, given the profits that would accrue 
could the Straits be forced. But when the gamble turned out badly 
then was the point when British statesmanship and Allied strategy 
should have abandoned it. Yet the lure of Byzantium remained to 
tempt those who could not perceive that the war was to be won or lost 
upon the western front and that effective aid to Russia, now in danger, 
could come only along the front between the Channel and Switzerland. 

Subsequent Parliamentary investigations have revealed the confusion 
and blindness which prevailed in British Cabinet circles when the 
Gallipoli campaign was adopted. Voices of warning were not lacking; 
naval and military authorities did not hesitate to remonstrate; but the 
words of the politician overbore those of the soldier. Sir John French, 
in the trenches, begging for men and munitions to hold a line still im- 
perfectly manned, still lacking in guns and above all in high-explosive 
shells, could not make his appeals heard in the Cabinet Council. The 
stern warnings of Jofi^re were unheeded ; even Kitchener succumbed to the 
civilian strategist. The result was one of the great blunders of military 



history, hardly equalled since that of Athens and destined to have evil 
consequences hardly less considerable. 

The fallacy of the Gallipoli undertaking is patent. To defend a nar- 
row peninsula, Turkey had not less than a quarter of a million veteran 
troops, armed, equipped, and officered by Germans. These troops 
were close to their base and could be munitioned and reinforced with 
little difficulty, while Allied troops had to be transported for more than 
a thousand miles by sea and their advanced bases in Egypt and Lemnos 
were separated from the field of operations by many miles of submarine- 
infested waters. 

But the main obstacle lay in men and munitions. For this great 
undertaking Britain could not muster more than 120,000 men and the 
French wisely declined to send any but colonial troops, since they were 
still facing a foe on their own soil. Outnumbered two to one in any 
event, the British had no reserves at hand to supply the wastage, and 
such troops as would later become available would have to be diverted 
from the western front. There was no chance of a surprise, for the 
March effort to force the seaward gates of Constantinople and the delay 
following the defeat and withdrawal of the naval forces, had allowed 
more than a month for Turkish armies and German engineers to prepare 
for the next blow. 

Looking backward it is easy to perceive that, had the troops squan- 
dered on Gallipoli been put in on the western front, the early British 
operations about La Bassee might have prospered and the autumn 
offensive at Loos might have resulted in the piercing of the German line 
and the consequent relief of Russian armies, by this time on the edge of 
ruin. The Gallipoli venture, first and last, used up not less than a 
quarter of a million of British troops and cost more than a hundred 
thousand casualties on the British side alone. For the Allies it became 
precisely what Spain was for Napoleon in his last years— an open sore, 
ever demanding more troops, ever eating up more of his resources in 
men and supplies, yet never offering any possibility of compensating ad- 

In Berlin the decision of the British to go to Gallipoli was hailed with 


the same enthusiasm which Napoleon had displayed toward similar 
ventures of the British in the early wars of his period, when British 
armies and fleets were scattered all over the world and thus removed 
from the decisive field, which was Europe. Germany had embarked upon 
a campaign to crush Russia. She had assigned to her armies in the west 
the defensive mission, which was comprehended in the task of holding 
their own front. She haa stripped these armies of every division and 
gun that could be safely spared to give Mackensen his great force. That 
the British should send their troops away from this western front and 
thus make the task of the German defensive the easier was a piece of 
good luck hardly to have been expected. 


Those who defended the Gallipoli venture at the moment and sub- 
sequently, insisted that it had a fair chance of success and that this 
success, if attained, would have changed the whole course of the war. 
It was argued that Egypt could better be defended at Gallipoli than at 
Suez and that pressure upon the Turks at the Dardanelles would relieve 
the Russian armies on the Armenian front. To open the Straits was to 
break down the blockade of Russia, to send munitions to her armies 
now collapsing for lack of them, and to restore Russian finance by 
enabling Russia to market her wheat in England and France and from 
the proceeds to pay her obligations. 

But like many speculations, the alluring character of the prospectus 
was in direct proportion to the impossibility of attainment. So far as 
one can judge there never was the slightest chance of success. Winston 
Churchill, on a celebrated occasion, asserted that the British were within 
a mile of supreme success, but the mile was the main Turkish position 
and this was as completely beyond their power to carry as the whirlpool 
and falls of Niagara are beyond the capacity of a sail boat to negotiate, 
although their extent is short and beyond lies the calm surface of Lake 

The brutal truth about Gallipoli is that it was a blunder of the first 
magnitude, which consumed more than a quarter of a million troops who 

An Austrian ski patrol cautiously advancing through a forest on the mountainside 


The men are on skis. The gun has been taken apart and roped to a sledge. The deep snow and steep slopes of the 
Carpathians rendered practically useless all troops not accustomed to these special conditions 


Note the rests for the rifles and the skis. The third man is using a field-glass. Many of the private soldiers, even 
of the Austrian and (Jerman armies, vifere equipped with these, though the U. S. War Department found great difficulty 
in providing them even for officers, as most optical goods before the war were imported from Germany. 


















a> « 



ANstrian troops ready to oppose the Russian attempt to force the mountain harrier and penetrate the Hungarian 
plain. Heavy German reinforcements, countless German guns, and the most skilful German generals were needed to 
drive the Russians home. Unaided, the Austrians could scarcely have hoped to stem the Russian tide permanently — 
much less to thrust the Russians back in decisive defeat. 

9 J 


The upper picture shows defeated and wounded Russians trudging stoHdly into the courtyard of a German hos- 

In the lower picture the interior of the hospital is seen, with the old priest of the Greek Cathohc Church offering the 
consolations of religion to wounded and dying Russians as they lie on the straw-covered stone floor. 



might have been used effectively on the western front — conceivably so 
effectively as to rupture the German fronts; certainly with sufficient 
advantage to compel the Germans to relax their efforts in the east; un- 
questionably with enough of weight to have made impossible the German 
drive to the Golden Horn in the late autumn. 

The German was the true enemy. When he was beaten the alliance 
of the Central Powers would collapse. To send a quarter of a million 
troops on a futile attack upon the Turk, doomed from the outset to defeat, 
was merely to lessen the pressure upon the German by just this amount. 
All summer long the British troops in Flanders lacked reserves, were 
starved as to munitions that the Gallipoli expedition might be supplied, 
yet such was the British shortage in men and munitions that the sacrifices 
in the west were futile and the Gallipoli army still lacked the necessary 
material for an equal fight with the Turk. 

In the spring and summer of 191 5 Britain lacked the resources to 
create and maintain an effective army on one front. Yet she undertook 
to maintain two great armies on two widely separated fronts. The re- 
sult was failure in both fields. At Gallipoli some of her best officers and 
many of her best troops were sacrificed uselessly. On the west front the 
golden opportunity provided by the German decision to go east was 
permitted to escape, and in September the attack at Loos, which might 
have been a shining success, ended in a shambles, terminated in an 
appeal to the French by the British commander-in-chief to take over a 
portion of his lines, become too extended for his meagre force and his 
exiguous stock of ammunition. 

Never in British history was there a more splendid example of the 
tenacity and the courage which have made the great empire. Nothing 
in English or world history surpasses the devotion of the men of Britain, 
of Australia, and of New Zealand, fighting under conditions beyond be- 
lief, enduring hardships beyond description, transforming what seemed 
an impossible operation into an undertaking that at moments seemed to 
promise victory, yet in the end failed as it was always doomed to fail. 

The tragedy of Gallipoli is the hopelessness of it, the uselessness of the 
colossal sacrifice and the degree to which the valour and the unselfish de- 



votion of officers and men were without gain to the cause for which they 

On the other hand, it is impossible to escape the conviction that if the 
commander-in-chief, Sir Ian Hamilton, was charged with an impossible 
task, his conduct of the operations was open to deepest condemnation. 
The larger failure was probably not his, but his failure to make even a 
competent effort was glaringly displayed at Suvla Bay, where the only 

The end of the Gallipoli Peninsula is shaped like a badly worn boot. The ankle is at Gaba Tepe, 
where the Australians landed; the heel at the Narrows, where were situated the forts commanding the 
Straits, which were the objective of the naval attack in March; whilst the toe is the promontory 6ve 
miles wide, which ends at Sedd-el-Bahr. And it was at the toe that the main landing was made. 


real chance of success — probably an apparent rather than a real chance 
— was lost under conditions that thoroughly warranted his subsequent 
removal. Nor is it possible to overlook the fact that the sufferings of the 
British army at Gallipoli were of the sort that had made the Crimean 
War an enduring reflection upon British organization and foresight. 
In this campaign the world was to see a British army hopelessly in- 
ferior to the Turk in all that makes the modern army effective and suc- 
cessful. Surely a more illuminating revelation could not be imagined. 


That portion of the Gallipoli Peninsula, which was the scene of the 
great struggle, has been aptly described by Sir Ian Hamilton as shaped 
like a badly worn boot. The ankle is at Gaba Tepe, where the Aus- 
tralians landed; the heel at the Narrows, where were situated the forts 
commanding the Straits, which were the objective of the naval attack in 
March; whilst the toe is the promontory, five miles wide, which ends at 
Sedd-el-Bahr. And it was at the toe that the main landing was made. 

The three dominating hills of this end of the peninsula are Achi 
Baba, which, from a height of 600 feet, dominates the toe and blocks the 
road north from Sedd-el-Bahr; Sari Bahr which, at the height of 970 
feet, overlooks the Anzac Cove and the Gaba Tepe position, the scene of 
the Australian operations; and the Kilid Bahr Plateau, directly above 
the forts at the Narrows and attaining a height of 700 feet. This 
latter was the main Turkish position and it was never reached by the 
Allied forces. An idea of the smallness of the distances may be gathered 
from the fact that at the ankle the peninsula is but five miles wide, while 
from Sedd-el-Bahr to the dominating positions at Kilid Bahr is not 
more than ten miles. 

Apart from the beaches at the toe and another shallow beach under 
Gaba Tepe, the whole iEgean shore of the Gallipoli Peninsula is un- 
suitable for landing operations, since the hills rise abruptly from the sea. 
A third landing place, still farther to the north, at Suvla Bay, offered 
still greater advantages, which were seized upon in the final attack in 
August. But the relatively low foreshore of this bay is commanded 


by the Anafarta Hills, which were never cleared. Actually, the British 
had three roads open to them for their advance — from Sedd-el-Bahr 
straight up the Peninsula to Kilid Bahr, a distance of ten miles; from 
Gaba Tepe eastward right across the peninsula, a distance of five miles; 
and from Suvla Bay first east and then south which was materially 
longer. And from Sedd-el-Bahr they never were able to advance more 
than three miles. From Gaba Tepe they got forward hardly more than 
one mile and the Suvla Bay effort ended in a complete fiasco, which 
doomed the whole enterprise. 

The hills that rise abruptly from the shore slope downward and in- 
ward, giving the peninsula the appearance from the air of a spoon, hol- 
lowed out in the centre, and this made it next to impossible for the guns 
of the fleet to reach and destroy Turkish positions. Moreover, the whole 
area was a series of confused gullies, steep hills, and deep ravines, 
covered with underbrush and admirably suited to the sort of fighting the 
Turk was best suited to offer. 

The climatic conditions were indescribably bad. In winter the 
peninsula was swept by the cold blasts from the Black Sea. In summer 
it was baked by a tropical sun which dried up all watercourses and 
turned the country into a desert and a furnace. All water for drinking 
had to be brought from Egypt or Lemnos. At all times, all portions of 
the British position were within easy range of Turkish guns, the landing 
places were commanded by artillery, the expedition lived under shell 
fire. There was no respite and no truce. 

In the same fashion their rearward communications by sea were at 
the mercy of the weather. All supplies, reinforcements, and artillery 
had to be landed under direct observation and fire. No movement 
could be made without first advertising its character by the prepara- 
tions carried out under the Turkish eyes. A more hopeless, hapless 
position for a great army cannot be imagined, nor is there anything in 
military history since the Crimea to compare with the hardships of the 
men of Gallipoli. The measure of this is found in the fact that while 
the battle casualties of the campaign were 112,000 — 25,000 killed, 
75,000 wounded, and 12,000 missing — the hospital statistics revealed 


96,000 admissions. Thus the dimate was almost as deadly a foe as the 

No survey of the campaign would be complete without a mentiort 
of the admirable manner in which the Turk fought. Standing on the 
peninsula by which, following the route of Xerxes, his ancestors had 
entered Europe five centuries before, he made a fight which commanded 
the unstinted praise of his British foe. He not only fought well, but he 
fought cleanly. In the intervals between desperate fighting the two 
armies observed those courtesies as to wounded which had been cus- 
tomary in other wars but had been banished on the western front by 
German savagery. Not only did the Turks conquer their foe in the 
field, but they won his praise and his admiration for courage and for 
skill, for devotion and for military efficiency. 


The naval attack on the Straits had failed on March 22. It was more 
than a month later — on April 25 — that the first landing party touched 
the Gallipoli shore. The date is interesting. On this day the Germans 
were making their desperate attack at Ypres and were on the point of 
launching their blow at the Dunajec. Italy, on the preceding day, had 
made her agreement with the Allies, which was to bring her into the 
war in another month. The campaign of 1915 was in full swing and the 
operation in the Near East divided world interest with the German bid 
for Ypres, still accepted as one more serious attempt to reach Calais. 

Sir Ian Hamilton's force had been mobilized in Egypt and trans- 
ported to Mudros Bay in the Island of Lemnos, which was to serve 
as its base. He had with him three British corps, some 120,000 men, 
including the Australian and New Zealand corps, which, under the name 
of the "Anzacs" (Australian New Zealand Army Corps), was to win 
imperishable glory in defeat and demonstrate once more the solidarity 
of the British Empire, as the Canadians were proving it In Flanders and 
the South Africans along the Orange River. To this force was joined 
a contingent of French soldiers, under General D'Amade, who had won 
reputation in the Shawia campaign in Morocco before the present war 


and rendered useful service to Sir John French in the retreat from Mons. 
D'Amade gave way shortly to Gouraud, one of the great French colonial 
figures, who lost an arm and had to leave in turn before long. The 
French contingent was a useful but not considerable help to the British. 
Its main contribution was through its artillery. 

On the morning of April 25 the attack was made. The main 
British force was thrown against the Turkish positions commanding the 
beaches at Sedd-el-Bahr; the Australians were put ashore before Gaba 
Tepe; the French were sent across to the Asiatic shore to make a feint 
and attract Turkish attention. Actually they fought over ground that 
had seen the battle for Troy in the mighty Homeric drama. 

The landing is one of the ghastliest of the incidents in the whole war. 
For a month the Turks had been preparing. Not only was the shore 
fortified, but the beaches, the shallows were covered by submerged 
barbed wires. Against this position the British were sent in open boats, 
partly but not effectively covered by the fire of the fleet. They made 
the landing, they made good their hold on the toe, but not less than 
15,000 casualties was the price of the effort. As many troops were 
killed, wounded, or captured on this first day of the Gallipoli fighting 
as the United States sent to Cuba in the first Santiago expedition. 

Afterward, in the next days, the effort to get forward was pressed. 
Under conditions beggaring description the remnants of the organiza- 
tions that had made the landing sought to press on to Achi Baba, the 
first stage of the journey. They failed. When this first phase came 
to a halt through the exhaustion of the assailants, the Turks still held 
this height and the village of Krithia on its slopes. Actually the British 
army had inserted itself in a bottle, of which Achi Baba was the stopple. 
Before it now were positions impregnable, given its own resources. 
Some slight progress it was still to make on this front by a war of 
trenches, but in point of fact the road from Sedd-el-Bahr to the Kilid 
Bahr plateau, to the dominating positions above the Straits, was 

As for the Australians, they had managed to get up the first slope of 
the hills above the Anzac Cove, where they had landed, but they were 


now condemned to hang on, their backs to the water, their trenches 
exposed to plunging fire, dominated by the Turkish positions on Sari 
Bahr. Their losses had been terrible, too. Gallipoli was now become 
a word of evil omen both in Australia and New Zealand. And despite 
new efforts and new devotion, despite still greater sacrifices, the Austra- 
lians were not destined to make any further considerable progress east- 
ward. Sari Bahr was to block them, as Achi Baba held up their com- 
rades to the south. 

In British strategy it had been planned that the Australians moving 
east, the British moving north, should converge in the centre of the 
peninsula and before the Kilid Bahr Plateau. The Turks had blocked 
both of the converging columns on their chosen positions and they 
were to hold them before these positions until the end of the campaign. 
And with this first desperate effort the original expedition came to the 
limit of its powers. It could do no more until it was reinforced, so great 
had been its losses. Henceforth Gallipoli was an open sore, daily wast- 
ing more and more of British vitality to no useful purpose. 


In May the difficulties of the Gallipoli army were enormously in- 
creased by the arrival of German submarines in iEgean waters. Hither- 
to the British fleet had been able to support the land forces while British 
submarines had made daring raids through the Strait and interfered 
with the seaward communications of the Turk. But on May 15 a 
German submarine was reported off Malta, while three days previously 
a Turkish torpedo boat, by a daring raid, had sunk the British battle- 
ship Goliath just inside the Strait, where it was cooperating with 
the French. 

On May 26 a German submarine sank the battleship Triumph, 
which was covering the Australian position. The next day the Majestic 
met the same fate, and thereafter the fleet had to be withdrawn. The 
departure of the fleet, the withdrawal of its guns which were necessary 
to cover any real effort to advance and prepare the way for any attack 
which could hope for success, doomed the Gallipoli venture in the eyes 


of all military men who had not perceived from the outset that it was 
an impossible venture. 

Yet the British would not give up the task. After long delays and 
many local engagements of only minor value they tried one more stroke. 
Meantime the cost in casualties was mounting rapidly. May had cost 
38,000, including the casualties of the last days of April. Before July 
ended the toll was more than 50,000, while the French had also suffered 
heavy losses. In addition, the cost in sick was mounting in an alarming 
fashion. By August almost half of the men of the six original divisions 
had been killed, wounded, or captured, and fully a quarter more had been 
removed by illness. Not even in the terrible days of Ypres had the 
ratio of losses been greater than in some of the regiments of the 29th 
division at Gallipoll. But to reinforce the six original British divisions 
six more — three from the New Army, two territorial, and a mounted divi- 
sion from Egypt — had been sent out. 

The final bid for success at Gallipoli was made in the first week of 
August and extended into the second. The main element in the strategy 
was the landing of a strong force at Suvla Bay, four miles north of the 
Australian position, and an advance by this newly landed force due east- 
ward to the Anafarta range, which was the backbone of the peninsula and 
from which the British would command the Turkish lines of communica- 
tion along the west side of the Dardanelles. At the same time the 
Australians were to make a frontal attack, the British before Krithia 
to push forward to hold the Turks before them. The Suvla Bay forces 
were to join hand with the Australians and the Turkish position would 
be enveloped, while the Australians, by their advances, would gain 
heights from which they could command the waters of the Strait. 

The time was well selected. The Turks were celebrating the 
Ramadan and had no suspicion of the coming blow. The landing at 
Suvla was made without any difficulty and the Turkish surprise was 
complete. Meantime, the Australians had pushed out and seized the 
ground that was allotted to them to take. All now depended upon the 
energy and determination with which the Suvla advance was made. 
But here comes the first real collapse. Once the troops were landed 


they were permitted to halt. Hour after hour passed and no advance 
was made. The golden opportunity was slipping away as another 
brilliant chance had escaped at Neuve Chapelle, when the road to Lille 
lay open. August 7, the day of the Suvla landing, is the critical day 
on the Gallipoli front. 

On August 8 there was a fair chance, but the Suvla force was still held 
back. The hold of the Australians upon the vital heights was becoming 
weak. The Turks were recovering and beginning their terrific counter 
attacks. August 9, with a faint hope left, Sir Ian Hamilton arrived and 
urged a night attack. His subordinates declared it was impossible. 
The commander-in-chief allowed himself to be overborne. Thereafter 
when the attack upon Anafarta was made, it was too late. Mean- 
time the Australians had been pushed back off their extreme gains. The 
whole situation was as it had been. Forty thousand casualties in Au- 
gust had not changed the decision. 

Whether the Suvla attack, had it been efficiently pushed, would have 
brought ultimate and complete victory may be doubted. The weight 
of judgment is against this belief, which long subsisted in the Gallipoli 
army itself. But no one could mistake that the failure doomed the 
whole campaign, as it quite justly brought the removal of Sir Ian Hamil- 
ton. After Suvla he still appealed for reinforcements. But all too 
late Britain called a halt. At last the truth was dawning, while, 
because of Russian defeat and Balkan complications, the necessity for 
some British offensive operation in the west, in conjunction with the 
French, to relieve pressure upon the Russians, was imperative. 

From August onward Gallipoli diminishes in importance. By De- 
cember, when the German successes in the Balkans had opened the road 
between Turkey and her great ally and made certain the arrival of Ger- 
man artillery at Gallipoli, evacuation was inevitable, and on December 19 
the troops were withdrawn from Suvla. By December 20 the Anzacs were 
safely away. By January 9 the last troops had left the peninsula. No 
portion of the Gallipoli campaign was so successful as the evacuation, 
which cost neither men nor guns, although conducted under fire and 
within direct vision of the Turk. 


The lesson of Gallipoli was to be emphasized at Kut-el-Amara, 
where another "side show" was to end in the surrender of a British 
army, rashly pushed forward on an impossible dash for Bagdad. The 
two disasters were to produce a profound impression in Britain and in 
the world they were to have a costly influence upon Balkan affairs. 
They were to contribute to raising German fortunes to unequalled 
heights. Taken in conjunction with the failure of the British at Loos — 
where 66,000 casualties was the price of a slight gain in ground and dis- 
organization and inefficiency were revealed in staff administration com- 
parable to the blunders and failures at Suvla — they were to lead to a total 
reorganization of British military machinery. 

Had Sir John French been able to put to his work on the west front 
the quarter of a million troops wasted at Gallipoli, the results of the 
191 5 campaign might have been far different. Even a complete success 
at Gallipoli would not have saved Russia from her great disaster. It 
would not have weakened Germany, although it would have ended her 
dream of a Berlin-to-Bagdad empire. All too late the Allies were to 
realize that the war would be won or lost in the west. France was to pay 
at Verdun the price of British folly at Gallipoli, for because of Gallipoli 
losses Britain was still unready to move when the great German blow, 
the second assault upon France, came in February and March of the fol- 
lowing year. 

In sum, Gallipoli was for the Allies what Spain had been for Napo- 
leon. It was in a measure what Syracuse had been for Athens. It was 
not a fatal blunder, since it did not immediately or eventually lose the 
war, but it did prolong it. It did accelerate the pace of French exhaus- 
tion and it did leave Germany free to strike at Russia and to strike so 
heavy a blow that Russia, after a temporary recovery, fell to revolution 
and disorder and in the summer of 1917 ceased to be of value as an ally. 
It was therefore the worst and most expensive defeat of the first three 
years on the Allied side — a defeat first correctly appraised when Serbia, 
threatened with ruin, uttered the despairing cry which could not be an- 
swered, because the men and the guns that might have saved the army, if 
not the nation, had disappeared in the Gallipoli gamble. 




Lemberg fell on June 22. With the fall of the capital the Galician 
campaign loses its importance and becomes a secondary affair. In Ger- 
man strategy there were two clearly separated sections of the eastern 
campaign of 1915. The first was comprised in the clearing of Galicia of 
Russian armies; the second contemplated the reduction of the Polish 
salient, the capture of Warsaw and the various Russian frontier fort- 
resses from Riga to Rovno. Yet always it is essential to remember that 
the geographical achievement was subordinated to the military. The 
main German purpose all through this campaign was to destroy Russian 
military power, either by a great and decisive victory — a Sedan many 
times greater than that which had destroyed the Third Empire along the 
Meuse — or by the cumulative effect of successive defeats. 

By the first days of July the Russian situation was this : From the 
neighbourhood of Riga straight to the Niemen at Kovno the line ran 
north and south. From the Rumanian frontier northward to the Vol- 
hynian fortresses of Rovno, Dubno, and Lutsk the Russian front was also 
straight. But from Kovno on the north and Lutsk on the south the line 
turned westward, making a triangle with Warsaw as its apex. This was 
the great Polish salient of military parlance, a position so fraught with 
peril that long before the war Russian High Command had con- 
templated an evacuation of all this ground in case of a war with Austria 
and Germany and a stand behind the line of the Niemen, the Narew, the 
Bug, and great Pinsk or Pripet marshes. 

The peril of the salient was just this : Austrian armies advancing from 
Galicia, German armies coming south from East Prussia, could they 



pierce the Russian lines, the sides of the triangle would meet behind 
Warsaw and would cut off the retreat of all the Russian armies within the 
triangle unless they had retreated in time. The Russian position was the 
more dangerous because the two railroads vital to its defence, the 
Warsaw-Petrograd and the Warsaw-Kiev lines, were both but a short 
distance from the front, and a relatively insignificant advance, either out 
of East Prussia or out of Galicia, would enable the enemy to cut these 
lines behind the Russian armies on the Warsaw front. 

All the intricate and confused campaign between July and October in 
the east becomes easily comprehensible if one but glances at the map and 
identifies the chief characteristics of the Polish salient. All German 
strategy is comprehended in the simple purpose to get behind the Rus- 
sian armies in the Warsaw salient by breaking in the sides near the 
points where the triangle touches the main Russian line, from which it 
projects much after the nature of a cape. This main purpose was not 
achieved, because each time the peril of envelopment became obvious 
the Russians promptly retired in the centre and held on to the sides 
of the triangle until the forces at the apex had retired. 

The operation has three distinct phases. In July the battle is for 
the Warsaw salient. In August, after Warsaw has been evacuated, the 
Russian effort is to hold the base of the salient, the line from Riga south- 
ward through Kovno, Grodno, Brest-Litovsk and thence to the Volhy- 
nian fortresses. This is prevented by German advances to the north and 
south, which threaten to put German armies behind the Russian centre 
at Brest-Litovsk, as they had menaced the old centre at Warsaw. 
Finally, in the third phase, the Russian armies become separated, gaps 
open between the various groups of Slav armies, and through these 
gaps the Germans penetrate. Thus in September there is an hour of 
deadly peril for great Russian forces about Vilna. They are actually 
enveloped for days, but they finally cut their way out and thereafter the 
eastern campaign gradually diminishes in importance and Russian and 
German lines begin to reestablish themselves on the fronts they are to 
maintain for many months to come. 

Of the German strategic purposes, that of clearing the Austrian 


territory was practically realized by July i. The conquest of Poland, 
with the straightening of the eastern front and the capture of Warsaw, 
was realized on August 4, when Warsaw fell. The determination to 
expel Russia from all her frontier fortresses from Riga to Volhynia was 
realized, save in the important cases of Riga and Rovno, by the first 
days of September. No Russian army was captured or destroyed and to 
this extent the German strategy failed. Nor did the Germans quite 
reach that eastern front, easiest to hold and doubtless their ultimate 
geographic objective. Yet the result of their victories was the ultimate 
collapse of Russian military power. 


In the period now to be examined we enter that doubtful and difficult 
region of Russian domestic politics. As the campaign closes the Czar, 
by a magnificent gesture, puts himself at the command of the beaten 
armies and under his leading they rally. Could his will have remained 
firm perhaps his empire might have been saved, but after a brave moment 
the Czar relapses into weakness, a pro-German and reactionary group 
seizes the reins of power, and Russian armies are betrayed to the enemy 
and the Russian Revolution made inevitable. 

Already the disclosures that have been made possible by the Russian 
Revolution begin to reveal things long suspected. That the Russian 
generals and soldiers who fought so splendidly from the beginning of the 
war to the autumn of 1915 were betrayed by their government is no 
longer to be denied. That many of the German triumphs from Tannen- 
berg to the end of the fatal campaign of 19 15 were due to official betrayal 
of Russian interests is as plain now as it was a matter of conjecture two 
years before. 

Time and again in the critical hours of the campaign of 191 5 am- 
munition failed. The vital fortress of Kovno was surrendered to the 
Germans under conditions that were even in 191 5 accepted as proof of 
treason. Hundreds of thousands of lives were sacrificed, great regions 
of Russia were devastated and lost to the enemy because of German 
Intrigue in Petrograd and German influence amidst the reactionary 


elements of the Russian monarchy. All this the Russian people knew. 
They learned in the summer of 1915 not merely to expect defeat in the 
war, but to hope for it as the first step in the destruction of the monarchy 
and the attainment of Russian liberty. 

The campaign of 19 15 destroyed the monarchy In the eyes of the 
people of Russia. All the skill of the really great Russian generals — 
Brusildff, Ivanofif, Russky, and Alexiev — all the devotion of the soldiers, 
all the unquestioned fidelity to the cause of Russia of the Grand Duke 
Nicholas himself were of no avail. And when Nicholas disappeared into 
the Caucasus to win new but unavailing victories at Erzerum, the Ger- 
man influence about the Czar became dominant. Thus, while at the 
moment the military aspect of the great Russian disaster claimed the 
attention of the world, it is probable that the generations that are to 
come will see the military events as significant merely because they were 
the prelude to the political changes, to the Russian Revolution, to all 
the great and terrible events of the winter and spring of 1917. 

And on the larger side it is necessary to point out that, although at 
the moment Germany seemed to have failed in her chief purpose — to 
dispose of Russia as she had sought to dispose of France in the previous 
years— later events proved that Germany did reckon rightly and that when 
her armies had completed their great campaign in the east in the autumn 
of 191 5, she had achieved the eventual ruin of Russia as a military factor 
in the war for the next two years at the very least. For if the 
Russian armies were to win magnificent victories in the summer of 1916, 
the betrayal of Rumania by the Russian Government in the autumn 
was to destroy the fairest prospects the Allies were to have in the first 
three years of the war and thereafter the ruin was to be prompt and 

It Is because it brought the Russian Revolution that the eastern 
campaign is chiefly significant. It is because it was the first step in this 
ruin that the Battle of the Dunajec is bound to remain one of the 
memorable encounters of human history. Looking now at the military 
operations of the period, we must see In each episode the meaning in 
Russian political history quite as clearly as In the military history of the. 


war. Revolution is marching side by side with Mackensen and Hinden- 
burg in all this period and because it was bound to disorganize and 
well-nigh destroy Russian military efficiency, and Russia's value as an ally 
of the western powers, we must see Revolution as an ally of the Germans. 
When they had reached the threshold of winter the Germans could 
afford to halt. The example of Napoleon forbade another adventure 
with Russian winter on the road to Moscow. Thenceforth they could 
wait until Revolution, entering through the breach they had battered 
in the walls of the Romanoff imperial structure, should complete that 
destruction of Russian military strength which they had begun at the 
Dunajec and carried to the Dwina. 


In the first days of July the situation on the eastern front was this : 
A German army, which had been landed at Libau, was moving east and 
north on the front between Dvinsk and Riga, with these two towns as 
objectives. To the south from the Niemen west of Kovno to the 
Vistula below Warsaw a group of German armies under Hindenburg was 
preparing to thrust south through the Niemen-Narew-Bobr line of for- 
tresses covering the Petrograd-Warsaw railroad. A second group of 
armies, under Prince Leopold of Bavaria, faced Warsaw and Ivangorod 
along the Bzura-Rawka line, which had been unchanged for manj^ months. 
South of the Upper Vistula a third army group, commanded by Macken- 
sen, was beginning a thrust northward across the Warsaw-Kiev railroad. 

It was plain at the outset that if either of the two flank operations 
succeeded the Warsaw salient must go. The mission of Leopold was 
merely to continue pressure upon the apex of the triangle and snatch any 
profit from a Russian disaster on another field. These three German 
army groups were faced by three Russian groups commanded by Alexiev, 
Evarts, and Ivanoff. There were as many as a dozen German and Aus- 
trian armies on this front, while the Russians were less numerous both 
in armies and men. Always the Germans possessed an enormous advan- 
tage in munitionment and in heavy artillery, while Russian munitions 
were to fail at many critical moments in the next weeks. 

O to AO 60 60 too 
FRONTIERS — ••— » 
FORTS * ■*■ 

The white arrows show the lines of advance of the Germans under Mackensen and Hindenburg. 
Compare this map with the one on page 193, showing the similar manoeuvre of the Allies on the 
western front. 


^^^>|«>W»*itg^^j^» j M n> i» OTTfiw g ji ij^ T»> fe« 

The Russian rear-guard surrenders to tlie (lermans, and the Russian main body sullenly withdraws from the city 

The triumphant entry of Prince Leopold of Bavaria, and the looting which often follows a German success 


About July 5 opening engagements of the first phase of the new cam- 
paign begin. The Archduke Joseph and Mackensen are pushing north. 
They have passed the Russian frontier and are moving upon Lubhn 
and Cholm on the Warsaw-Kiev railroad. They are beginning to be 
handicapped now by the fact that they have entered a region of poor 
roads and are beyond the Galician network of railroads. The Russians, 
on the contrary, are now near their own rail lines and bases. And on 
July 9 the Archduke, having pushed forward too rashly and thus 
gotten out of supporting distance of Mackensen, is suddenly attacked 
and smartly beaten by Evarts at Krasnik, south of Lublin, losing many 
guns, flags, and some thousands of prisoners. 

Mackensen now comes to the aid of his ally, but there is a marked 
slowing down of the German operation on this side of the Polish salient. 
Li the third week of July there is still a remote basis for hope that the 
Lublin-Cholm position can be held. 

But on July 25 one of Hindenburg's armies, commanded by Gallwitz, 
suddenly strikes north of the salient and along the Narew, aiming to 
reach the Petrograd-Warsaw railroad behind Warsaw. After desperate 
fighting Gallwitz gets across the Narew on July 25. But he, in turn, is 
forced to slow down. Yet on this same day Mackensen is again getting 
forward and is within ten miles of Lublin. Both sides of the salient are 
now in grave danger. To add to the peril, one of Leopold's armies has 
crossed the Vistula between Ivangorod and Warsaw, finding a weak spot 
resulting from the transfer of troops to meet Mackensen's thrust. 

Warsaw is now doomed. Indeed a decision to evacuate had been 
taken as early as July 15, although there were moments subsequently 
when it seemed possible that the Russians might hold on. Lublin falls 
on July 30. The Warsaw-Kiev line, one of the vital railroads of the 
salient, is now cut. Therefore, on August 4, the Russians clear Warsaw 
and Prince Leopold's army enters the Polish capital one year to a day 
after the British declaration of war transformed the character of the 
contest into a world struggle. The Battle of the Dunajec had been won 
on May Day; less than a hundred days later the Germans were in War- 


With the fall of Warsaw the next problem posed is whether the Rus- 
sian armies can escape — will they be able to get east of the breaches in 
the sides of the salient before the armies of Mackensen and Hindenburg 
reach their lines of communication? 

Again, as at Mukden, the Russians displayed their great capacity for 
successful retirement. By August 1 5 there is no longer any danger of an 
immediate envelopment, the Warsaw apex of the salient has been safely 
cleared, the road to Brest-Litovsk lies open, and the barrier fortresses 
along the Niemen-Bobr-Narew have fulfilled their final mission — those 
of the Narew are now doomed and there is no great purpose in holding 
them too long. Far to the south, too, the advance of Mackensen, aimed 
at Brest-Litovsk, has failed to move at a rate which would threaten 
envelopment. The first stage of the retreat is safely passed. 


For the Russians the next problem is their ultimate rallying point. 
Like Joffre after his early defeats, the Grand Duke Nicholas has now to 
select a point at which to stand and counter-attack, having made his 
reorganizations. The line is fairly obvious. From Riga to Kovno the 
Russians are still holding off Below's army, striking east from Libau. 
From Kovno, which is a fortress of real strength, southward the east 
bank of the Niemen offers a safe position as far as the fortress of Grodno. 
Brest-Litovsk is an entrenched camp offering a good base for the Russian 
centre. To the south the Volhynian fortresses of Rovno, Lutsk, and 
Dubno hold. 

We may assume that the Grand Duke hoped to make his stand on 
this line, which had been selected long before the war as the first line of 
Russian defence in a war with Austria and Germany. But on August 17 
Kovno suddenly surrenders under circumstances which suggest treachery 
and later bring the commander to trial for alleged betrayal of his coun- 
try. Kovno gone, the hope of holding the Niemen-Bug line is at an 
end and the flank armies on the north are in grave peril, which will 
culminate in the critical days about Vilna. Two days later the great 
fortress of Novogeorgievsk, below Warsaw, falls. Its capture was 


always inevitable; its mission was identical with that of Maubeuge in 
the great Anglo-French retreat of the preceding year. It commanded 
the Vistula, the best line of transport for the Germans, and covered the 
railroad line coming south out of East Prussia by Mlawa. A large gar- 
rison and many guns were taken, but although the defence proved to be 
shorter than was expected, there was no suggestion of such treachery 
as had cost the Russians Kovno. Nor did its fall have any effect upon 
the operations to the eastward save as it opened new lines of communica- 
tion for the Germans. 

Meantime away to the north a joint naval and military descent 
upon Riga with an attempted landing at Pemau is blocked. In the 
same fashion the Russians, falling back behind the Dwina from the 
Gulf of Riga to Dvinsk, hold up a dangerous drive of one of Hinden- 
burg's armies for the extreme northern flank of the Russian line. But 
on the south Grodno falls on September 4, while Brest-Litovsk has to be 
abandoned a week earlier, on August 25. And at the precise moment 
Grodno is lost to the north, Lutsk and Dubno, two of the three Volhyn- 
ian fortresses, fall. All chance of a stand on the Niemen-Bug line has 
now disappeared and the Germans are across both rivers, still aiming 
at the rear of the Russian armies. 

Now, on September 5, the Czar takes command of his armies. 
The Russian Cabinet through Sazonov issues a solemn declaration that 
Russia will make no separate peace, thus answering German reports. 
And at this moment the campaign enters its critical stage. The Rus- 
sian armies are now scattered and that between the Niemen and the Bug 
is in deadly peril. The disaster of Kovno on August 17 has its sequel 
about Vilna on September 20, when a great Russian army is enveloped 
on three sides while large contingents of German cavalry cross its only 
line of retreat. Berlin begins to hint at a Sedan and the world awaits 
with tense interest the final act. 

Once again, as at Lodz, the Russian escapes. The stolid infantry 
smash their way through the German cavalry obstacle. By September 
21 the road to Minsk is clear — the last Russian army has escaped all real 
peril of destruction. Far to the south Brusiloff is making a counter- 




offensive which temporarily retakes Dubno and Lutsk and assures the 
Russians of a permanent hold upon Rovno. Already winter is at hand 
and the German campaign is visibly slackening. 

October i the end has in fact come, although there will be struggles 
about Riga, which will be successfully defended for two years more, and, 
all along the front, minor contests for certain local positions which have 
a value in establishing the permanent lines of the two armies, since they 
are now to return to a war of position, to trench warfare after five 
months of fighting in the open — five months of a war of movement which 
in numbers engaged, in prisoners captured, in territory conquered, can 
only be compared with those great campaigns of Napoleon in his 
younger days. And even the Napoleonic triumphs will unquestionably 
seem small when a later generation comes to compare the results of 
Marengo, Austerlitz, and Jena with the German achievement between 
the opening battle of the Dunajec and the closing drama at Vilna. 


While Berlin and Vienna celebrated the great successes, London, 
Paris, and Petrograd rejoiced over a German failure to destroy Russian 
military organization, capture Russian armies, or get Riga. Allied 
critics expatiated upon the weakness of German strategy as proved by 
the escape of Russian armies. Yet the fact seems to be that the German 
method made the prospect of great captures quite unlikely. Napoleon 
had said that he won his great victories by the legs of his soldiers. Ger- 
man victories had been won by their artillery. 

Such an enormous machine as the Mackensen "phalanx" could only 
move slowly at best over favourable ground and with good lines of com- 
munication behind it. As the German advance when it reached Russian 
territory had to move over country devastated by retreating armies, 
employing ruined roads and hastily repaired railroads, its speed was 
necessarily slight. And when the German and Austrian armies under- 
took to act without the aid of the heavy guns, they incurred heavy 
losses and the Austrians frequently suffered real defeats. In the Marne 
campaign the Germans had outrun most of their ammunition and many 


of their heavy guns. This had been an important factor in the ultimatvj 
loss of the great battle. 

In Russia, a year later, the same mistake was not repeated. The guns 
were brought up; breaches were beaten in the Russian lines; the infan- 
try entered the breaches, thus threatening a section of the Russian front 
with envelopment and their troops in this section retreated to a new line. 
Then the process was repeated. As long as the Germans had to face 
troops without heavy guns there was but one possible ending to such 
struggles. The Russian defeats, the destruction of Serbia, the terrible 
disaster of Rumania a year later, these were all the direct result of the 
German tactics based upon the German supremacy in artillery. 

When the same tactics were employed against the French at Verdun 
they failed because the French were able to bring up heavy artillery. In 
the same way the Germans at the Somme, themselves faced by a great 
concentration of heavy artillery, were able to prevent disaster, although 
the superiority of Anglo-French artillery compelled gradual retirement 
and the Somme, on a reduced scale, is a repetition of the great Russian 
campaign of 1915, with the Germans playing the losing part. 

The last days of September mark the real termination of the great 
eastern campaign, and the end was in small part at least influenced by the 
tardy but terrific effort of the British and French In the west to relieve 
the pressure upon their ally. Largely because of this effort the Germans 
failed to get what must be regarded as their extreme geographical ob- 
jective — that lateral railroad which descends from Riga to Rovno and 
would have made an ideal line of communication between the German 
armies could they have pushed beyond it along the whole front. In the 
same way they would have profited had they been able to take Riga 
which would have been even more useful than Libau as base with the 
coming of spring. But it was the Russian navy which saved Riga. 

Had the British and French been able to make a real offensive in the 
gpring, the German offensive might not have broken in the Polish salient 
and conquered Poland. An offensive in the summer might have exposed 
German armies to deadly peril east and west, because while the masses 
of the eastern armies were committed to a great and difficult operation in 


a country devastated by the retreating Russians, they would not have 
been able to detach any considerable reinforcements, and such reserves 
as they could send west would have been long in arriving. 

But France tried in Artois and failed to achieve any great result. 
Britain, her new troops in large measure drawn off for Gallipoli, was in- 
capable of any considerable effort whatever. Conceivably the fate of 
Warsaw was sealed by the Dardanelles venture. Certainly the great 
and permanent Russian disaster would have been avoided had the 
British been able to make a real effort between April and the last days of 
September. And it is small wonder that all through this terrible sum- 
mer the Russians watched with ever-growing apprehension Allied failure 
to move in the west; that Warsaw and Petrograd alike cried out for help 
vainly in July and August. 

In her East Prussian campaign In August and the first days of Sep- 
tember, 1914, Russia had suffered terrible disaster, but the effect of her 
rash drive had been to draw off German troops intended for the French 
field of operations, even if, as is now held to be the case, no German corps 
were actually transferred from the west to the east before the Marne. 
But what Russia had done for her Allies they could not do for her and 
thus the Grand Duke failed where Joffre had succeeded. He saved his 
armies, but more he could not do. 





The first campaign in the west ended with the final repulse of the 
Germans before Ypres in November, 1914. But the Russian campaign 
in the east proceeded without interruption from the opening oper- 
ations of August, 19 14, until the final halt of the Russian retreat far 
within Russian territory in September and October of the following 
year. Actually this campaign changed character when the German 
victory at the Dunajec finally deprived the Russians of the offensive 
and ended the endeavour of the Russian armies to dispose of Austria. 
Thus the real conclusion of the first campaign of the war seems to me 
to be at the Dunajec and not at the close of the First Battle of Ypres. 

In the volume describing the first phase, therefore, I briefly re- 
ferred to the Second Battle of Ypres, which began before the Dunajec 
but lasted beyond the period of this great conflict in the east, thus pre- 
serving the temporal relation between the eastern and western 
campaigns. Yet actually the Second Battle of Ypres belongs to the 
campaign of 1915 in the west, it had consequences fatal to the Allied 
plans for their spring offensive, and it caused a disorder in Allied strategy 
which endured for many months. For these reasons and because in ad- 
dition the Ypres battlefield became in the fourth campaign — that of the 
summer and fall of 1917 — the scene of the principal Allied offensive of 
the year, and as the First Battle of Ypres was the most considerable 
British battle in all the history of the race up to the end of 1914, 
there is, perhaps, warrant for reviewing at this time the operations in 
the area that beca^ne forever memorable as the "Ypres Salient," and 
for studying the ground and restating the relation of the Second Battle 
of Ypres to the whole western campaign of 191 5. 



Turning first to the examination of the country itself, it should be 
remembered at the outset that Ypres is in the midst of the typical 
Flanders region — flat country marked by innumerable little brooks 
and rivulets, many of them canalized for centuries. This country 
begins as far south as Bethune and stretches north to the estuary of 
the Scheldt. Hills, mentioned so frequently in the battle despatches, 
are in reality but gently sloping elevations. Just as the American 
who is familiar with the history of the Battle of Waterloo and has read 
of the height of Mont St. Jean stands in amazement looking out upon 
the field itself when he first sees it and recalls, not the rugged country 
of the Appalachian seaboard but the prairies of the West, so he would 
view the district between the Lys and the Yser, on which was fought a 
battle greater than Waterloo and only less momentous in human his- 
tory, for, had the Germans broken through to Calais, they might con- 
ceivably have abolished most of the consequences of the French victory 
between Paris and Verdun. 

Bearing in mind, however, this qualification as to the stature of the 
hills about Ypres, it is still necessary to recognize that they played a 
decisive part in the various contests and that for the possession of the 
most considerable of them three battles were fought — one in October 
and November, 1914, a second in April and May, 1915, and the third 
and greatest, in the size of the armies engaged, from June to the end of 
the campaign of 1917. 

To start at the beginning, there is between Bixschoote, at the edge 
of the marshes along the Yser River, and Warneton on the Lys, a 
fifteen-mile stretch of solid ground, that is, ground suitable for the 
movement of guns, transport, and large bodies of men. West of Bix- 
schoote is the marshy region which was flooded when the Belgians 
closed the sluices at Nieuport in the critical days of the Battle of the 
Yser. South and east of Warneton, that is, on the right bank of the 
Lys, Allied operations were rendered impossible by the German occu- 
pation of Lille, with its forts and defences, which were, despite their 
contemporary condition, too great an obstacle for Allied resources 
either in 1914 or 1915. 


The solid ground between the Lys and the Yser was then in the 
nature of a sally-port, should an army come north and seek to advance 
down the Lys valley toward Ghent and Bruges. On the other hand, 
for an army moving south it was the main gate to Calais and Boulogne, 
to the Channel ports facing the English coast, once the Yser front had 
been closed by inundation and the front south of the Yser barred by 
adequate armies. Could an army moving north push up to Roulers 
and Menin it would insert a wedge between hostile armies operating 
on the coast in front of the Yser and those to the eastward about Lille. 
Could an army moving south thrust through this gateway it would 
similarly intervene between the army defending the Yser front and the 
other forces before Lille. And when the British army moved north in 
October, 1914, its main purpose was to isolate the Germans advancing 
along the coast from those about Lille, while the German purpose, when 
the offensive passed to them, was to push down to Calais, isolating all 
the troops west of Ypres, the Belgian army, and a French force sent to 
aid the Belgians. 


Ypres, itself, lies in a little basin, about the tiny Yperlee stream which 
flows west to the Yser. It is the junction of several roads and railways 
and through it passes a canal from the Lys to the Yser. It was a for- 
tress in the Eighteenth Century and some of the ramparts of Vauban 
have survived the artillery of Krupp, but these had no value on the 
contemporary military side. Of the roads and railroads the more 
important from west to east were : the Bethune-Bruges railway, which 
came up from the south and, after leaving Ypres, crossed the canal near 
Boesinghe, passed through Langemarck, and continued thence toThour- 
out; the Ypres-Roulers railway and highway, which paralleled each 
other and ran northeastward to Roulers; and the Menin Road, which 
ran straight from Ypres southeast to Menin on the Lys. A mile south 
of this last was the canal connecting the Lys with the Yser and Ypres 
with Commines. 

South, east, and northeast of Ypres, at a distance of rather less than 


three miles, is the famous Messines-Zonnebeke Ridge, which is the most 
important geographical detail in the entire country. This ridge runs 
from southwest to northeast. It is at no point more than two miles 
wide and at many not more than one. Its highest point is at the south 

Sca/e 9f Mites' ^, ,- /. 

^ MMum wnvfi fj<'« li«q / 


near Messines, where it is 250 feet above the level of the sea; at the 
other end, beyond Zonnebeke, it is rather less than two hundred feet. 
At no point is it more than a hundred feet above the surrounding coun- 
try and it rises in gentle slopes, making a far more impressive showing 
on the map than upon the vision of the tourist. 

Along this ridge, from south to north, are a number of small vil- 
lages, forever famous in British battle history. These are: Messines, 


Wytschaete, HoUebeke, Klein Zillebeke, Zandvorde, Gheluvelt, and 
Zonnebeke. North of the last it narrows to a point at Paschendaele. 
Actually this ridge is the watershed between the Lys and the Yser, 
Down its gently sloping western flanks flow a number of brooks which 
reach the Yser west of the inundated district. Eastward, over a much 
shorter course, flow other brooks leading to the Lys. Save in rainy 
weather — unhappily frequent in this weather-cursed corner of Europe 
— these streams are not obstacles to military operations. 

Separating the streams which flow west to the Yser are a number of 
lower ridges running at right angles to the main Messines-Zonnebeke 
Ridge, the only one of importance in the present narrative being that 
north of Zonnebeke, which first borrows the name of Grafenstafel and 
then of Pilkem. It is the natural extension of the front of an army 
standing on the main ridge and troops in position on this Pilkem- 
Grafenstafel elevation would cover the flank of an army on the main 
ridge. On the other hand, were both the southern end of the Messines- 
Zonnebeke Ridge and the western end of the Pilkem Ridge in the posses- 
sion of an enemy, the position of an army defending Ypres would be 
exceedingly dangerous because its rear and communications would be 
under the fire and observation of its foe. And it is worth recalling that 
the Messines position was lost in 1914, the Pilkem in 1915. 

So much for the general topography of the country. Bear in mind 
again that an army holding all the Messines-Zonnebeke Ridge would 
look down on a vast sweep of country to the east and southeast. It 
would be able through its observation balloons to see as far as Lille, to 
sweep the whole of the upper valley of the Lys. Its heavy artillery 
in position behind the ridge would be able to command the Menin- 
Roulers road five miles to the east and play havoc with enemy com- 
munications, while its operations would remain hidden to the enemy, 
save for aerial observation, and its communications would be beyond 
reach of effective bombardment. Once, however, should the army be 
driven over and off the ridge, it would lose all these 'advantages and 
would be huddled in the Ypres basin, in a position which it would cost a 
steady and terrible wastage to hold and would always be a danger point. 


It is worth recalling, too, that the Battle of Ypres, the first and in 
many ways the most famous encounter, was accidental, like Gettysburg. 
Neither army expected to encounter the other on the ground on which 
the meeting actually took place. And it is equally interesting to recall 
that the First Battle of Ypres was the last battle of the old-fashioned 
sort, that Is, a battle in the open as contrasted with trench warfare, 
a conflict in a war of movement rather than in positional warfare 
on the western front up to the moment these lines are written in October, 
1917, after the third anniversary of the opening contests about Ypres. 


On October 14, 1914, the first British troops reached Ypres. They 
comprised the immortal Seventh Division, commanded by General 
Rawlinson, which had landed at Ostend a few days before and had cov- 
ered the retreat of the Belgian army, aided by some French formations. 
At this moment the Belgians, closely followed by General von Besseler's 
army, which had taken Antwerp and was advancing along the coast 
roads, were already near the Yser line, which they were to hold, and 
French troops were being railed up from the south to support them. 
Bad as was the condition of the Belgian army, it was still believed — 
justly as the result proved — that it would be able to hold the Yser 

At this moment Allied High Command believed that between the 
German army approaching the Yser and the northern end of the main 
German front, which now extended from Switzerland to Lille, there was 
a wide gap, squarely in front of Ypres and extending from Menin to 
Roulers. Field Marshal Sir John French had sent Sir Douglas Haig 
north with the First Army Corps; Allenby's cavalry already about 
Armentierres was to cooperate with it; and this force, together with the 
Seventh Division, seizing the crossings of the Lys from Menin to Cour- 
trai, was designed to turn the extreme flank of all the German armies, 
aim at their communications, and compel a retirement from the coast 
toward Brussels, which was not felt to be beyond the reach of the Allies. 
Such a success would isolate Besseler on the Yser and probably lead 


to the capture of his army. In any event, it would release Lille and the 
industrial regions of northern France, now firmly held by the German 
armies which had been brought north and west from the Aisne and 
Lorraine fronts. And in conformity with this strategy, French ordered 
Rawlinson to move out of Ypres on October 17 and seize the crossings 
of the Lys at Menin. 

Once more, as at Mons, British information was wholly out of accord 
with the facts. Actually the Allies had, in or approaching the region 
between the Lys and the Yser, less than 100,000 men, of whom only 
some French cavalry and Rawlinson's Seventh Division had actually 
arrived, while the Germans were moving four corps and some other 
formations, upward of half a million men, into this Ypres sector. 
Already aware of an impending change, but still unable to measure the 
extent of the threat, Rawlinson conformed to the imperious order of 
French and the next day moved the Seventh Division out to Zonnebeke. 

On October 19 the Seventh Division sent out a brigade from Zonne- 
beke which actuall}'- reached the Roulers-Menin highroad, but there it 
encountered the advance guards of two German corps and was compelled 
to fall back rapidly to Zonnebeke. October 19 thus marks the end of 
the advance toward Menin and the crossings of the Lys. That night 
Sir Douglas Haig reached Ypres and the next day his First Army Corps 
came up. At once there was posed the question as to whether it should 
be put in to the east to support the Seventh Division on the Messines- 
Zonnebeke Ridge north of the Menin Road, or sent north to cover the 
flank from Zonnebeke through Langemarck to Bixschoote. Unless it 
was sent to the support of the Seventh Division there was now danger 
that Rawlinson would be overwhelmed, but if it was sent thither, then 
a gap would open in the Allied line between Zonnebeke and the marshes, 
and the Germans coming south through Langemarck would outflank 
both the British and the Belgians, drive a wedge between them, and have 
an open road to Calais and Boulogne. 

Sir John French chose to risk the former peril and sent Haig north. 
When he was in position the Allied line from Switzerland to the sea was 
complete, but from the Lys to the Yser it was incredibly thin and for 


some days no reinforcements were available, as the French troops Joffre 
was sending up could not arrive before the 23d and did not all come 
until the 24th. As the First Battle of Ypres began, then, the British 
held the front from the inundated district at Bixschoote along the Pilkem 
and Grafenstafel ridges to the Messines-Zonnebeke Ridge east of this 
town, and thence south along the ridge through Becelaere and Zande- 
vorde to the Commines Canal. South of the canal Allenby's cavalry 
held the Messines-Wytschaete sector with ridiculously insignificant 
cavalry screens. October 20 the real battle opens. 

From October 20 to October 31 the fighting about Ypres was in- 
tense. On October 23 and 24 the arrival of the French Ninth Corps 
allowed Sir Douglas Haig to bring his First Corps from the Pilkem- 
Grafenstafel to the Messines-Zonnebeke Ridge and thus reinforce the 
Seventh Division, which was rapidly approaching the point of annihila- 
tion. But despite all effort the British were slowly but surely driven 
from the crest of the Messines-Zonnebeke Ridge and on October 31 
their line was actually broken on the Menin Road, near Gheluvelt. 
This was the crisis of the whole battle, the moment when Sir John 
French himself sent the cooks, the hostlers, and every available man to 
the front line. 

A lost battle was saved by the sudden appearance of the 2d 
Worcesters on the flank of the Germans advancing on the Menin Road 
west of Gheluvelt. The line was restored, but Gheluvelt was lost, as 
Zanvorde had been, and the front now ran from Zonnebeke south through 
the Polygon Woods to a point on the Menin Road just west of Ghelu- 
velt. Like Meade after the first day of Gettysburg, French had been 
battered into a new but strongly defensible position; from Zonnebeke 
to the Menin Road the new front was now to endure for many months 
and never to be lost to a direct attack. But it was an exhausted and 
almost annihilated force which now held the line. 

On November i the Germans shifted their attack to the Messines- 
Wytschaete front and seized the southern end of the Messines- 
Wytschaete Ridge. This was their greatest success in the whole battle 
and a French army corps which arrived the next day and retook both 



Messines and Wytschaete was unable to hold either. The capture of 
Messines and Wytschaete really created the Ypres salient. Hence- 
forth the Germans, from the highest ground in the whole region, looked 
down upon the rear and commanded the communications of the British 
in and east of Ypres. After November i, the Battle of Ypres continued 


A- A shows tlie ground lost to the Germans in the First Battle, October 20 to November II, 1914. 

B-B shows the additional territory lost in the Second Battle, April 22 to May 8, 1915. 

In the First Battle the Germans won the hills of Wytschaete and Messmes; m the Second they took 
the Pillcem Ridge on the other side of the salient. They held on here till the summer of 1917, when British 
advances abolished the whole salient. 

with diminishing energy up to November ii, when the Prussian Guard 
made its celebrated attack, temporarily pierced the British line between 
Cheluvelt and Veldthook on the Menin Road and was thereafter anni- 

The eleven days between October 21 and November i were the days 
of the great stress on the British front, and in this time that portion of 


"On April 24 [igisl, Italy at last made her arrangements with the Allies and on May 3 denounced the Triple Alli- 
ance. . . . The country was seized by a patriotic emotion which can hardly be paralleled in history. . . . On 
May 23 Italy was at war with Austria." This, however, was too late to allow of very effective participation in the 
campaign at Gallipoli. 


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This eyrie is built into the solid face of the cliff, thousands of feet up the mountain side 


These Italians, at the end ufonc of their rocky trenches, are watching the movements of the Aiistrians across the valley. 
It will be noted that at least three of the four soldiers arc supplied with field-glasses 


Copyright by 1 nUrnationul Film S>r:uY 

After a heavy fall of snow it was sometimes necessary to tunnel through huge drifts like this, in order to clear the com- 
munication trenches 


This little town in Austrian territory having been captured after a heavy bombardment, these Italian infantrymen have 

entered it to take possession and — they hope — to rest 




1 — :t 





A vigilant watch for enemy aircraft is maintained by land and sea. Showing a gun mounted on a summit in the 
Italian Alps, 8,100 feet above sea-level. A glimpse of the queer-looking craft used in the anti-aircraft motor-boat patrol 


An Italian signal outpost commanding a bird's-eye view of the valley thousands of feet below. The canvas-covered 

object behind the sand ba^s is a powerful searchlight 


the British Expeditionary Army which fought about Ypres was practi- 
cally exterminated. The Seventh Division alone lost 356 out of 400 
officers and 9,664 out of 1 2,000 rank and file. At Ypres alone the British 
losses were 40,000. The German loss has been placed as high as 250,000 
and certainly exceeded the loss at the Marne. For three weeks the 
British fought an enemy five times as numerous and equipped with 
heavy artillery and machine guns, both of which weapons were lacking 
to the British in any useful number. Probably 60 per cent. — perhaps 
more — of the British army were killed, wounded, or captured, but in the 
end they still held Ypres and the lines before it. For such an achieve- 
ment all praise is inadequare. And at Ypres Britain's professional 
army perished but its tradition became thenceforth imperishable. 
Unlike the Spartans, who died in defeat, the British army had held its 


The close of the First Battle of Ypres saw the Allies holding one of 
the most remarkable positions in all the front from Belfort to Nieuport. 
Pushed eastward from Ypres was a sausage-shaped salient or bulge, 
extending north-northeast to its greatest depth at Grafenstafel, six 
miles from Ypres. The base of this salient was the Ypres-Commines- 
Yser Canal and between the two points where the German line touched 
the canal, north and south of Ypres, was barely seven miles. South 
of this canal possession of the Messines and Wytschaete hills gave the 
Germans direct observation and splendid artillery sweep of the whole 
rear of the salient. But north of the canal the British still clung to 
the western slope of the ridge, from the vicinity of Gheluvelt to a point 
east of Zonnebeke, and from Zonnebeke westward they held both the 
Grafenstafel and Pilkem ridges as far as the western limits of Lange- 
marck. Between Langemarck and the canal at Steenstrate a division 
of French Colonials was in line. 

In April, 1915, the British were preparing for their subsequent offen- 
sive southward near La Bassee. The French had recalled their best 
troops from this front to participate in Foch's great Artois operation, 
and most of the few heavy British guns had likewise gone south. There 


was no expectation of any considerable German operation in the Ypres 
sector and Allied journals were heralding the coming of the spring 
offensive, which was to throw the Germans out of France and Belgium. 
Toward the last of the third week in April an attack, preceded by the 
explosion of a mine, had given the British a brief hold on Hill No. 60, 
a mound near the point where the Ypres-Commines Canal crossed the 
battle-front. Heavy attack and counter-attack on this point occupied 
the attention of the world in the next few days. 

But on April 22 came one of the most dramatic and terrible episodes 
of the war. Toward evening the Germans suddenly loosed vast quan- 
tities of chlorine gas against the French Colonial division standing be- 
tween Langemarck and the Ypres-Yser Canal at Steenstrate. The 
result was a natural and inevitable panic. The black troops fled south 
and west, toward Ypres and across the canal. Within a brief period 
the Allied front was broken and for four miles between Langemarck 
and the canal there was a gap. The German road to Ypres was at 
last open. 

East of the Colonials were the Canadians. When the French troops 
fled, the Canadian flank was left in the air, while the Canadians were them- 
selves exposed to gas fumes and suffered severe losses from this cause. 
Yet, despite all the circumstances, the Canadians hung on. They drew 
back their left flank, forming in a half circle, and fought on, holding 
up for many hours the onrush of the Germans. Here, on this front, 
the Canadian contingent won their title to rank with the old British 
Army which had held the Ypres position in the autumn and with their 
Anzac brethren, who were soon to win equal glory at Gallipoli. 

The next morning, Friday, April 23, the situation was critical in the 
extreme. The Germans had forced the crossing of the Yser Canal be- 
tween Boesinghe and Steenstrate and taken Lizerne, while they were in 
possession of Langemarck and Pilkem and crowding down the roads 
from these towns toward Ypres itself. Could they push on for but three 
miles more, Ypres would be in their hands and all the troops in the salient 
east of Ypres would be caught like rats in a trap. That they did not 
do this can only in part be credited to the bravery of the Canadians and 


their British supports. In point of fact the true explanation appears 
to be that the Germans had not expected so tremendous a success and 
lacked reserves at the decisive point at the favourable moment. A better 
chance than the British had had at Neuve Chapelle therefore slipped 
through their fingers. 

In the next few days the situation slowly improved, although it 
remained critical during the first days of May. First the French threw 
the Germans back to the east bank of the canal. At the same time the 
British brought up troops from all points of their line and closed the 
gap between the canal and the flank of the Canadians. Even the Bel- 
gians from their side of the Yser River sent over reinforcements. Mean- 
time German heavy artillery destroyed the beautiful buildings of Ypres, 
till then little injured, and the British army suff^ered from shell fire as it 
had not suffered even in the first days of the battle about Ypres in the 
preceding year. To this heavy gun-fire it had neither the artillery nor 
the ammunition to make answer. 

By the first of May, the day on which the Germans were to win their 
great victory of the Dunajec, it was plain that the old Ypres salient 
could no longer be held. It had become a rectangle three miles wide 
by six long, thrust forth into the German lines. From the Pilkem 
Ridge as well as the Messines-Wytschaete Ridge the Germans had 
now a sweep over British communications. Accordingly in the second 
week of May the British sullenly drew back from the Grafenstafel 
Ridge, from Zonnebeke, from all the ridge between the Roulers Rail- 
road and the Menin Road, and occupied a new front in a narrow semi- 
circle rather more than a mile east of Ypres. 

Almost all the high ground was now lost. All the salvage of the 
First Battle of Ypres, defended with such great gallantry and obstinacy, 
was surrendered. Second Ypres had been far more costly than the 
First in territory given up, although it must be remembered that for 
this the British were not responsible. It was the collapse of the French, 
under the first gas attack of the war, which precipitated the disaster. 
Yet even this was a small solace for the Allied publics, which had expected 
news of a great victory both in the east and in the west and in the 


same hour read of the Dunajec and the surrender of all the ground 
memorable in the First Battle of Ypres. 

By May 13 the Second Battle of Ypres closed. The German pur- 
pose had been accomplished; there had been greater success than in 
the earlier attack, but the purpose of the April operation was far less 
colossal than that of the October campaign. Then the road to Calais 
had been sought. Now the Germans aimed merely to weaken the 
Allied offensive to the southward by drawing from it men, munitions, 
and guns. They sought also to impress the neutral nations — Italy 
most of all — with their great strength on both fronts. This strength 
was proven, but Italy was already lost and the use of the poison gas 
served to arouse the indignation of men of all nations outside the Cen- 
tral Alliance. It was one more circumstance in the indictment of Ger- 
many by civilization. After Ypres, quarter was neither given nor 
taken for many months on the Flanders front and before very long the 
Germans, in their turn, were compelled to endure the suffering incident 
to a gas attack. 

Without the gas the German success would have been unlikely. 
As it was, the success was limited and the moral consequences evil in 
the extreme for the Germans. The sinking of the Lusitania while the 
Second Battle of Ypres was still proceeding was instantly associated 
in all minds with the crime of the poison gas. And just as the Zeppe- 
lins were the best recruiting agency in Britain, German savagery roused 
Canada to new effort and in the first three years of the war more than 
400,000 Canadians crossed the sea to fight in Flanders and Artois. 

Such, briefly, is the history of the origin and development of the 
Ypres salient. In the First Battle of Ypres the Germans, attacking east 
of the town, mainly on either side of the Menin Road, gained the hills 
of Wytschaete and Messines. In the Second they took the Pilkem 
Ridge at the other side of the salient. Thenceforth they held it as in a 
vise between these two ridges until June and August, 1917, when the 
British first retook Wytschaete and Messines and then, with the aid of 
French divisions, swept the Germans off the Pilkem Ridge, retook 
Pilkem, Bixschoote, Langemarck, and St. Julien, and thus abolished 


the whole salient. Until this time the Ypres salient remained the worst 
point on the whole Allied front, and for a long period there was a sharp 
debate in British military circles as to the advisability of holding Ypres 
or retiring to the hills behind it, Scharpenberg and Kemmel. 

Ypres was not evacuated mainly because of the moral value that 
attached to it as a result of the two great battles. Only Verdun could 
rival the old Flemish citadel, now gone to dust and ashes, in sentimental 
value in the first three years of the war, and the return of the British 
to the offensive in this region in the fourth year of the struggle made it 
probable that Ypres will remain for the British and the Canadian 
public the greatest incident in the war. Even the Australians, who 
came to Flanders ultimately and rewon Zonnebeke and its surrounding 
woods in the last days of September, 191 7, will probably rank it with 
Gallipoli, and thus Ypres will retain a place in British Imperial history 
above all other battlefields, for here the solidarity of that Empire 
Germany sought to destroy was proven by its sons from all the lands 
about the Seven Seas. 





German strategy in the west in the summer and autumn was simple. 
German High Command had calculated that British preparations 
would not between spring and winter enable the British to make an 
efifective attack upon the narrow front which they held. They calcu- 
lated rightly that the transfer of men and munitions to Sir Ian Hamilton 
at Gallipoli would leave Sir John French powerless to do more than make 
brave but useless attacks in Flanders and Artois. The world believed 
that Kitchener's "Million" was a fact and that British preparations had 
already reached a point where Britain was a peril to the Germans. The 
Germans not only knew that Britain was not ready in May, 1915, but 
already guessed that Britain would not be ready in February, 1916. 
Knowing this Germany could undertake the Russian operation in 1915 
and begin her preparations for the subsequent Verdun operation. 

As to the French, the Germans rightly perceived that trance was 
becoming dangerous and that the reorganization of French armies and 
the similar reorganization of French industry were proceeding apace. 
Yet they estimated that the French would be unable alone to make a 
breach in the German lines before the Russian campaign had been com- 
pleted. They multiplied their machine guns and heavy artillery on 
the western front. They transformed their old trenches into double and 
triple lines of positions. They constructed dugouts and permanent 
works in cement. From the North Sea to Switzerland the German 
line became a veritable fortress. 

Having done this the German High Command turned its back on the 
west and went to Russia. It left great and powerful armies behind. 
No large number of divisions were taken from the west to the east, but 



I practically all the reserves available were marked for eastern use. It 
became the mission of the German armies in the west to hold on as 
best they could, even if they had to give over a certain amount of 
ground. Germany gambled with the Allies of the west that despite all 
their efforts she could hold her western front and at the same time deal 
Russia a crushing blow. In this she reversed the venture of August and 
September, 1914, when she sought to crush France while "containing" 
Russian armies. 

And Germany won the gamble. Nor was she ever In very grave 
danger of losing, despite the terrific struggles of Loos and Champagne in 
the autumn and the only less co islderable French operation in Artois in 
May and June, The reason of German success was that German High 
Command had better read the future than French or British. Ger- 
many had not expected to see her great drive at Paris end in the trenches 
above Solssons. She had not calculated that her tremendous push for 
Calais and the Channel would terminate in the trenches about Ypres. 
But German soldiers had studied both the Boer and the Manchurian 
wars. They had seen the possibilities of trench warfare and Germany 
had provided herself with the weapons which enabled her, standing on 
the defensive, to beat off her foes. 

Alone of the contestants, Germany had perceived the value of the 
machine gun and she had thousands where her foes had scores. Her 
heavy artillery had been designed for a war of movement, but in the war 
of position it enabled her to destroy her opponents' trenches with high- 
explosive shells, while British shrapnel proved all but useless in 
preparing an attack. In addition, German troops were provided with 
trench mortars and hand grenades, while the British were still making 
their bombs of jam tins and British and French armies were without 
trench mortars. 

To her foresight as to weapons, to her industry and skill in fortifica- 
tion, Germany owed her successful stand on the western front in the 
critical summer of 191 5 when a break in the west would have meant 
something approaching ruin, for her main forces were committed to the 
eastern operation and her reserves were consumed in this great effort. 


From the outbreak of the war to the Battle of the Somme this me- 
chanical and technical advantage remained with the Germans, al- 
though in a rapidly declining measure. At Verdun the French were still 
inferior in heavy guns as late as July, 1916, but with the Somme, Ger- 
many loses her initial advantage permanently on the west front. 

Once more, as in the case of the Russian campaign, it is necessary to 
recall that the contemporary judgment upon the Allied offensive of the 
west was entirely wrong. The German purpose was completely realized 
during the period from May to October, 1915. Allied gains in trenches 
and positions were unimportant. The much-praised victories of the 
Champagne and Loos had no valuable consequences. They won guns, 
prisoners, a few square miles of French territory, but they did not break 
the German line nor save Russia from the defeat which brought eventual 
ruin after revolution. They did not even prevent the Balkan thrust, 
following the gigantic Russian operation. 


In the last days of April, just before the Dunajec, Germany had at- 
tacked west of Ypres, using "poison gas" for the first time and tempo- 
rarily breaking the Anglo-French lines at the point where the armies of 
the two nations made contact. All through the first week of May the 
conflict about the old Flemish town was bitter. But it is plain that the 
Germans did not intend any new bid for the road to Calais. They 
sought rather to forestall the Anglo-French offensive which was prepar- 
ing to the south. 

In this, so far as British participation was concerned, they achieved 
success. When, on May 8 and 9, the great French spring offensive was 
launched by Foch south of La Bassee, the British share was minor. On 
May 9 a British operation east of Festubert brought nearly 8,000 casual- 
ties in a few hours, because there was lacking ammunition for a proper 
preparation. After but forty minutes of bombardment the British in- 
fantry left their trenches. Such bravery only made the losses greater 
and Field Marshal Sir John French, returning from the field where he 
had seen his soldiers slaughtered, met a despatch from the British War 


Office asking him to send back 20 per cent, of his reserve ammunition 
for use at GalHpoH. 

The result was the famous shell scandal. Sir John French put the 
facts of the army condition in the hands of the Conservative members 
of Parliament, of Lloyd George, and of Lord Northcliffe, who forthwith 
gave them to the world in the London Times. For months French had 
asked Kitchener for high explosives and had received shrapnel. He had 
asked for great amounts of munitions and he had seen his guns starved 
and his men slaughtered because they were without artillery support. 
Festubert was an unimportant skirmish on the military side, but its 
political effect in Britain was enormous. 

Meantime Foch, attacking on the front of some dozen miles from 
before Lens to the western environs of Arras, made immediate and con- 
siderable gains. The value of Neuve Chapelle had been that it had 
demonstrated that the German line could be pierced. The attack on 
that occasion had opened the road to Lille. Only the failure of sup- 
ports to arrive had allowed the Germans time to restore their shat- 
tered front. Thus Foch could hope to do what the British had almost 
accomplished. In point of fact there was a penetration of the German 
lines again, but it was impossible to take full advantage because the 
penetration was only on a narrow front. The main attack was made 
on the easternmost foothills of the Artois highlands, which near Lens 
and Arras break down abruptly into the great plain of northern France. 
The German line clung to the first of these hills, the ridge of Notre Dame 
de Lorette to the north and of the Vimy Ridge to the south. 

In the first days of fighting the French cleared the Lorette Ridge. 
They took a number of villages toward Arras — Carency, Ablain, Sou- 
chez. They mastered the famous German fortification of the Labyrinth, 
just west of the Vimy Ridge. But in the end the German line held. 
Advancing at first after great artillery preparation the French captured 
positions, prisoners, and guns with small loss. But when they endeav- 
oured to expand their gains, their losses became heavy and the prospect 
of real success rapidly dwindled. 

By the first days of June there was a slowing down. The Battle of 


Artois, the first since the end of the " Race to the Sea," had terminated 
in a check for the French. Not until April, 191 7, were the Allies to 
pass the Vimy Ridge and make good their hold on the plain below. Be- 
fore Lemberg had fallen, while the Germans were still engaged in clear- 
ing Galicia of the Russian invader, the first attempt of the western 
allies of Russia to relieve the pressure upon their hard-pushed comrade 
failed completely. This failure left the Germans free to go on, after the 
Galician episode was completed, to their more considerable undertaking. 
Their offensive about Ypres and the Allied drive about Lens had shown 
the Allies unequal to a really dangerous attack for the period of the 
spring and summer of 191 5. 

Between June and the last days of September there were various 
French efforts, all with only local value. An attempt to break down 
the German salient about St. Mihiel failed, both when attempted south 
of St. Mihiel and north of Pont-a-Mousson. A slight advance was pushed 
over the Vosges into the upper valley of the Fecht, west of Colmar, but 
it had no real value. Actually, from June until autumn, the Allied 
armies stood still — gave themselves over to preparing a new attack. 
While Russia perished they were still powerless to save their ally. 


It was not until September that the Allies were ready to try again. 
At the moment when the Russians had won clear of the Vilna envelop- 
ment and were approaching the line upon which they were to make 
their final halt, Joffre and French in Artois and Champagne launched 
the terrific drives which were the Battles of Loos and Champagne. 
Both battles were German victories, because they did not break the 
German lines nor compel the Germans to abandon their eastern opera- 
tions. Yet both marked real progress on the Allied side, and the French 
captures of prisoners in Champagne was impressive even In a war of 
the magnitude of the World War. 

In many respects the Allied attack recalled the German strategy 
employed against the Warsaw salient. In France the German line 
was a salient almost as sharp as that held by the Russians in the last 


The scenes of the various operations between the Somme and the sea in the summer 

and autumn of 1915. 
j^-The second battle of Ypres C-Loos 

£-Festubert Z>-Foch's thrust m Artois 



days of July. From Loos to Souain the distance is about the same as 
from Lomza to Lublin. A piercing of the German line both at Lens 
and Auberive would have produced a situation in a degree like that 
which existed in the east when the Germans had penetrated both sides 
of the Polish salient. The Germans at Noyon, the point where the apex 
of the western salient approaches nearest to Paris, would have been in 
something of the peril of the Russians in Warsaw in the first days of 

Thus, speaking broadly, what the Allies endeavoured to do was to 
attack the great German salient in France at two points well removed 
from the apex. Had they been able to penetrate at both a general Ger- 
man retirement to the Belgian frontier would have been probable. 
Had either attack been successful in any but a local way, then the Ger- 
man salient in France would have been materially narrowed and sharp- 
ened and German communications would have been considerably, if not 
fatally, crippled. 

In this September attack, the fronts chosen for attack were In Cham- 
pagne and Artois. Both had been the scene of desperate fighting in the 
spring. In Champagne, between the Moronviller Heights, which rise 
a few miles to the east of Rheims and dominate the plain, and the Argonne 
on a front of rather less than eighteen miles, over ground which pre- 
sented no great obstacle, the French chose to make their main thrust. 
It was historic ground. A few miles to the south the Hunnish hordes of 
Attila had been routed. Valmy, which delivered France from another 
Prussian invasion, was almost within sight of the new battlefield. In 
Artois, west of Lens and the Vimy Ridge, the British under Sir John 
French, the French under Foch, were to make a new eflfort to get the 
greatest French coal city. Lens was the immediate object of the Anglo- 
French attack. Vouziers, behind the German lines and a nodal point 
for roads and railways alike, was the objective of the Champagne effort. 

For the two drives there was an artillery preparation unequalled 
hitherto in the west. In Champagne railroads had been constructed, 
roads built, enormous engineering work done to make possible the great 
bombardment, which was to surpass the Dunajec as the Dunajec had 



surpassed the British drum-fire at Neuve Chapelle. All the ammuni- 
tion manufactured by the newly organized French industrial establish- 
ments and husbanded during the summer was now available. The 
French armies had been reorganized, newly equipped. No French army 
was ever in better spirits and in a better state of preparation than that 


BRUSSELS • vi6lGr*aASsei.T"^ . 

-' It ,f uouVAin (■/ p 



The arrows show locations of the British operations about Lens, and of the French cam- 
paign in Champagne. In many respects the Allied attack recalled the German strategy successfully 
employed against the Warsaw salient during the previous summer. (See map on page 152.) 

which under Petain, soon to command the attention of the world as the 
defender of Verdun, made the great venture of September 25, 1915. 

Nor was Foch's army less worthy of the best traditions of the French. 
Its commander had delivered the decisive thrust at the Marne, after 
having saved the beaten army of Lorraine in the retreat from Morhange. 
His victory at the Yser had saved Calais — and in the winning of it he had 
been decisively aided by the British, who remained associated with him 
in the new campaign. Even the fighting of May and June had dis- 
closed Foch as a great master of trench warfare, although he lacked the 



guns and munitions to win a real victory. After three years of war 
Foch and Petain were to remain the two great fighters on the French 
side when Jofifre had gone, and it is worthy of note that we see them 
now at last, one commanding a group of armies, the other the army that 
made the great drive in Champagne. 

By the third week of September the preparations were complete. 
By September 20 the guns were roaring in the greatest bombardment 


This map and the one opposite are reproduced from one prepared by the French General Staff. They show 
the system of German trenches assaulted by the French, September 25, 1915 

of the war, the fire beginning along the whole front and gradually con- 
centrating in the narrow sectors which were to see the real attack. The 
guns gave the Germans full warning of what was to come, but there was 
no need of warning for the Germans were already fully aware of the 
preparations being made. 


On the morning of September 25, just as daylight broke, the French 
left their trenches between Souain and Massiges on a front of more than 



fifteen miles and advanced in successive waves against the German 
lines. On the western flank of the attack, about Souain, they had be- 
fore them only rolling country, destitute of cover— the familiar sterile 
and monotonous chalk plain of the " Dusty Champagne." In the centre 
the ground was broken by bits of woodland and by more considerable 
hills. On the extreme east the ground before the French was much 
higher and more difficult and culminated in that oddly shaped elevation 


The curling, twisting, tentacle-like railroads that seem to end nowhere are narrow-gauge lines built by 

the Germans for the purpose of serving their trenches 

called by the soldier the "hand" of M ass iges because on the map its 
outline resembled that of a hand with clearly defined fingers. 

The artillery preparation had been so complete that the French 
crossed the first system of German trenches with small loss in almost all 
sectors. Only here and there were they held up, chiefly in the centre, 
by machine guns hidden in underbrush and by concrete defenses of the 
sort which the British "Tommy" later named "pill-boxes." But the 
eff^ect of the partial checks along the front was to give the advance a 
wholly irregular outline. It had started as a great wave, moving in 


perfect alignment at a given moment. But by afternoon it resembled 
the toothed edge of a handsaw. 

For a great success it was essential that the weather should be clear 
and thus the field of observation for the aeroplanes unobstructed. But 
before noon rain began to fall, transforming the chalk soil into mud, 
making observation next to impossible at the precise moment when it 
was essential that the guns should be brought to bear upon the various 
German defences of the first line and its support trenches which had 
survived the first drum-fire. At the moment of victory the French 
advance now began to slow down. 

The next day the attack was resumed. The whole of the German 
first line was methodically reduced, but the Germans had learned their 
lesson at the Dunajec and behind the first line was a second, not nearly 
so strong, but strong enough to hold, particularly as the French artillery 
had to be moved forward to reach it. Yet the French did at some points 
breach the second line. A Moroccan brigade north of Souain actually 
won clear of the whole German position, only to be annihilated by the 
concentrated fire of the guns behind the German trenches. 

Meantime the Germans had begun to draw reserves from all portions 
of their western front. They seem to have had no real strategic reserve 
for portions of more than fifty different commands were presently 
identified. Men and guns arrived from all sides and the German second 
line still held. Moreover, the French, having won their first advance with 
small loss, were beginning to pay heavy prices for each new foot gained. 
The old experience of Neuve Chapelle and Artois was being repeated. 
Already it was clear that the Dunajec triumph was not to be duplicated. 

Wherefore, in the first days of October, the French determined to 
"cut their losses" — to take such profit as they had made and abandon 
all effort to get more. They had now advanced on a front of fifteen 
miles on an average above a mile and a half and at points more than two 
miles. They had taken more than 25,000 prisoners and 150 field and 
heavy guns, together with an enormous booty of munitions and small 
arms. It was a bigger bag of guns and prisoners than Napoleon had won 
at Jena or at Austerlitz and not since 1806 had any Prussian army shown 


Copyright by Vndinvood ifj Undenvood 


"The landing was one of the ghastliest incidents of the whole war. For a month the 
Turks had been preparing. Not only was the shore fortified, but the beaches, the shallows 
were covered by submerged barbed wires. Against this position the British were sent in open 
boats, partly but not effectively covered by the fire of the fleet. I hey made the landing 
. . . but not less than 15,000 casualties was the price of the effort. As many troops 
as the United States sent to Cuba in the first Santiago e.\pedition were killed, wounded, or 
captured on this first day [April 25, 1915I of the Gallipoli fighting." 


Sir Ian Hamilton's force for the Gallipoli campaign was mobilized in Egypt and transported to Miidros Bay, on the Island 
of Lemnos, which lies in the i-Egean opposite the entrance to the Dardanelles and about fifty miles away 

Copyright by Underwood IS Underwood 


View from a British officer's dugout on the cliffs. The splash in the middle distance was made by a Turkish shell 
which passed over the photographer's head and fell uncomfortably near the transports lying at anchor. The main 
British force landed near this point — ^^at the toe of the boot^and was never able to advance farther than three miles from 

Copyright by Undertvood i^ Underwood 


The tragedy of Gallipoli was the hopelessness of it all. "Never in British history was there a more splendid ex- 
ample of the tenacity and the courage which have made the great empire. Nothing in English or world history surpasses 
this devotion of the men of Britain, of Australia, and of New Zealand, fighting under conditions beyond belief, enduring 
hardships beyond exaggeration." 





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such readiness to surrender in detail. Of course there was no sur- 
render of large units. As to losses, that of each side certainly passed 
100,000; the French was approximately 120,000; the German ma- 
terially greater. 

In the moral sense the French were therefore justified in claiming 
the Champagne as a victory. The sight of the thousands of German 
prisoners, the parks of Prussian cannon in the courtyard of the In- 
valides in Paris, the stories of German troops surrendering, all con- 
tributed to raise the spirits of the French people and break the long 
period of depression which had come after the spring efforts had failed 
and the Russian defeats had demonstrated that France was not to be 
liberated from the invader during the current year. Artois had been in 
a measure a cause for optimism in the spring, but the Champagne was in 
much greater degree a cause for rejoicing. 

Yet it is plain that considerable as was the local and tactical success 
in Champagne, it did not affect the main issue or modify the German 
purpose. Some German divisions were rushed back from the east. The 
extreme objectives of the Germans in Russia were not all reached. There 
was a prompt reduction of pressure upon Russia. But the western of- 
fensive came too late to save Russia, now doomed to fall to Revolution 
and subsequent military powerlessness, and it did not force the Germans 
to give over their Balkan plans now maturing. 


The Artois operation was entirely subsidiary. The Allies, unlike the 
Germans, did not attempt to break the hostile salient on both sides. 
Their hope was to smash it in Champagne and by pressure in Artois 
prevent the enemy from sending troops from west to east. Hence 
there was no large expectation and no adequate preparation, particularly 
on the part of the British, for a real success. And, as it happened, when 
the British did break the German line, they were totally uhable to turn 
to permanent advantage a success which, for the moment, promised 
greater real profit than was attained by the army either of Petain in 
Champagne or of Foch in Artois. . • 


The Artois operation was assigned to the northernmost army of the 
group commanded by Foch and the southernmost army of French, 
which was commanded by Sir Douglas Haig. The immediate objective 
of the French was the Vimy Ridge, the last highland of the Artois 
Plateau, which breaks down sharply into the plain east of the Vimy 
Hills. The British aimed at the German lines covering the great road 
which runs north from Lens to La Bassee over high ground. The only 
considerable village in the British sector was that of Loos, two miles 
northwest of Lens and situated just at the western slope of Hill No. 70, 
which dominates Lens from the north. The French attacked upon a 
front of rather less than ten miles; the operative front of the British 
was hardly half as wide. 

The French attack was successful and on September 25 and the suc- 
ceeding days they pushed to the top of the Vimy Ridge, but were 
unable to clear the summit. In some places the Germans held the 
eastern slope, the French the western, and the crest was a "No-man's 
land." There was a moment when it seemed that the whole ridge would 
be won, but the British to the north became involved in difficulties which 
made it necessary for the French to go to their assistance and abandon 
their own operation. The result was that Vimy was only half taken and 
later in the war, when the British took over this sector from the French, 
a German attack won back much of the lost ground. It was not until 
Easter Monday, April 9, 1917, that the Canadians were to clear Vimy of 
its German garrisons. 

Turning now to the British attack, the problem was this: The ground 
rolled gently upward from the British and was seamed with German 
trenches, two complete systems interposing between the British and the 
Lens-La Bassee highroad. The main obstacles were found in the coal 
pits and slag heaps— the characteristic features of the whole Lens dis- 
trict. The northernmost of the British attacks was aimed at the famous 
Hohenzollem Redoubt, just south of the La Bassee Canal ; the southern- 
most at the village of Loos, with Hill No. 70 behind it as an ultimate ob- 
jective. Various defensive works between these two points along the 
highway were the objectives of the centre. 


The British attack got away handsomely after the customary bom- 
'bardment at dayhght on September 25. In the early hours the success 
was complete. The Hohenzollern Redoubt was captured, the works 
covering the highway were reached and taken, and the highway crossed 
at various points. But the great triumph was to the south, where the 
Highlanders took Loos, pushed on and captured the redoubt and slopes 
of Hill 70, and pressed on over the eastern slope of the hill. A great 
success was now within sight. The last German trench line had been 
penetrated. The Germans were hastily moving their heavy guns out of 
Lens and the evacuation of the town had begun. 

But again, at the critical moment, the British staff broke down. 
The success was out of proportion to the expectation. Such immediate 
reserves as were available — two divisions of the new army — were pushed 
up, but under the strain they broke down and fled, repeating the per- 
formance of the French Fifteenth Army Corps at Morhange. The 
Scottish troops had neglected to disarm and send to the rear the garrison 
of the redoubt on Hill 70 and these troops now took up their arms and re- 
occupied their old fort. Not until midsummer, 1917, were the British 
again to occupy this height. 

From the afternoon of September 25 until the morning of September 
27 there was a chance that the great success might be made permanent, 
but, just as at Neuve Chapellc and Suvla, the golden opportunity passed. 
The Scottish troops were either destroyed or pushed back from their 
vantage points. Hill 70 was retaken by the Germans, who again pushed 
west of the Lens-La Bassee highroad. By September 27 their line was 
restored, their counter-attacks were beginning to threaten the safety of 
the British, and Sir John French had to appeal to Foch for assistance. 
The lines became stationary again. The thing that happened in Cham- 
pagne also occurred in Artois. In both places the Germans had lost 
ground, but had preserved the continuity of their front and parried a 
deadly thrust. 

At Loos the British took 3,000 prisoners and twenty-five guns. 
They lost rather more than 60,000 men — a loss greater than the com- 
bined casualty lists of the Northern and Southern armies at Gettysburg. 


Their gain in ground was nowhere much deeper than a mile and over a 
front of less than four miles. And within a brief time the British realized 
that another great opportunity had been missed. Neuve Chapelle, 
Loos, Suvla Bay — these are all illuminating examples of the cost to a 
nation of unpreparedness and the fallacy of the notion that armies can 
be improvised or staffs created when the fact of war has surprised a na- 
tion totally unready. 

Loos sealed the fate of Sir John French. His return to England was 
there assured, although it did not come for several months. It is 
probably true that the chief blame rested upon the nation which had 
failed in peace to prepare for war. The main faults of Loos were the 
faults incident to just such an army as Britain had been compelled to 
improvise. Yet it is hard not to believe that a portion of the blame 
rested with the commander-in-chief in the field. In a few months after 
Loos, French gave way to his immediate lieutenant. Sir Douglas 
Haig, while Sir William Robertson became chief of staff and there 
was a consequent reorganization of the whole British military estab- 

Thus, in a sense. Loos marks the lowest point In British military 
tide during the first three years of the war, although the evacuation of 
Gallipoli and the surrender at Kut-el-Amara, which came later, were 
evidences of the same conditions. On the morrow of Loos the German 
General Staff could justly calculate that Russia had fallen and Britain 
had failed. France alone could not pierce the German lines on the 
offensive. Could she, on the defensive, resist the German attack, still 
deprived of effective aid from Britain? The German officers decided 
not and we may see In the result of Loos a strong stimulus toward the 
Verdun attack that was to come a few months later. At Ypres 
In April, at Loos in September, Germany had tested British strength; 
both tests had proven satisfactory to the Teutonic mind. If Ger- 
many had failed to dispose of France at the Marne and by a single 
blow, she had now disposed of Russia and could risk another blow at 
France, before Britain could arrive. Loos, after all, was the preface to 





To complete the story of western offensives during the campaign 
of 1915 it is now necessary to glance at the Italian operations. When 
Italy entered the war the Allies promptly expected great results with 
brief delays. That Italy would take Trieste, break through the narrow 
gap between the Adriatic and the Julian Alps, and follow the route by 

A oy\JL i 



As soon as the Italians entered the war they swarmed over the frontier north of Verona and west of 
Gorizia, and took Cortina and a few other towns outside the Austrian fortifications. But they nowhere 
penetrated Austrian territory twenty miles, and as soon as they came within range of heavy artillery, fixed 
behind permanent trenches, they themselves were forced to take to earth. The Italian campaign of 1915 
thenceforward continued to be an affair of trench warfare. 

which the young Napoleon in 1797 reached the Semmering Pass and 
grasped the key to Vienna, seemed assured. 

But once more, as so frequently in this fatal year, Paris, London, and 
Petrograd quite ignored the facts. When the World War began, trench 
conflict was still unexpected and for the first two months the war moved 
down into France and then back toward Belgium with such campaign- 
ing as had been looked for before the struggle opened. The first battles 
were analogous to those of 1870. The Marne was still a battle of move- 
ment. It was only at the Aisne that war of position began. 


In the Italian campaign the war started in the trenches. Austria, 
long aware of the menace of Italian preparation, began early to con- 
struct trenches along her whole western front, from Switzerland to the 
Adriatic. For months the work went on. Thus when Italy at last 
struck, she ran her head instantly against long lines of prepared positions, 
such as those in France and Belgium had become. She was halted, and 
the third anniversary of the war found her still held between the Julian 
Alps and the Gulf of Trieste. 

In the very first days of their war the Italians swarmed over the 
frontier north of Verona and west of Gorizia ; they took Cortina, Ala, 
Gradisca, and a few other towns outside the trace of Austrian fortifica- 
tions. Nowhere did they get twenty miles into Austrian territory; 
nowhere did they make any real breach in the trenches the Austrians had 
prepared. Like the French and the British advancing from the Marne to 
the Aisne, they suddenly came within range of heavy artillery, fixed be- 
hind permanent trenches, well prepared. And, like the French and the 
British, they were forced to take to earth. 

This is the story of the Italian campaign of 191 5. Along most of the 
front from Lago di Garda to the lower valley of the Isonzo the Italians 
were operating in a region of great mountains, some of them rising to 
10,000 feet. The summits, the foothills, all the roads and approaches 
had long been covered by Austrian defences. There was little chance 
to blast a way through this barrier; there was none to rush it. Slow, 
steady pressure, the capture of a summit here, a trench there; a difl[icult 
and tedious efi^ort — not to break through, but, on this front, merely to dig 
in so firmly that if the Germans should join the Austrians in a drive into 
Italy the Italian position would hold. This was, and for two years and a 
half remained, the Italian campaign. Remember that this frontier was 
traced by Austrian military engineers intent on keeping for Austria 
every military vantage point, and the Italian task is comprehensible. 

Between the Adriatic and the mountains, along the Isonzo River, 
there is a district of relatively level character perhaps thirty miles 
broad. This is the Gorizia front. Here the Italians could undertake 
precisely the operation the French twice attempted in Champagne. 


By concentrating heavy artillery here they might hope to blast a way 
into Austria. In the month of November they made the greatest of 
their many attempts, striving to exert a pressure that would prevent the 
Austrians from detaching troops to help the Germans in Serbia, as the 
English and French in Champagne and Loos had sought to relieve the 

But, despite the repeated attacks — and the Austrians conceded that 
both infantry and artillery played a desperate part — Gorizia was not 
taken, the Austrian line held, the Italians were checked with losses 
estimated by the Austrians at 150,000. Italy gained trenches, as 
France did in Champagne, although she took no such bag of guns and 
prisoners; but the Isonzo line held. 

The French and British hopes of victory in the west were shattered at 
Champagne and Loos. Their expectation of an early and decisive suc- 
cess by the Italians over Austria was soon shown to be futile. Italy did 
not by her entrance save Russia; she did not immediately endanger 
Austria; she could not even exert enough pressure to prevent the 
destruction of Serbia in the autumn. What was far worse, from the 
Italian point of view, the campaigns of 1915 and 1917 did not clear the 
Austrians out of Trent and the great salient, which, like an enormous 
cape, projected into the Venetian plain. 

Until this great bastion was taken Italy must always face the danger 
of a sudden thrust south, either through the valley of the Brenta, the 
valley of the Adige, or along the shores of Lago di Garda. Such a thrust, 
if it reached the plain, would envelop all the Italian armies between the 
Brenta and the Isonza and threaten one of the greatest disasters in mili- 
tary history. Despite all her exertions Italy could not bar this road in 
1915, and the spring of 1916 was to bring a grave menace in the Austrian 
offensive which sought to reach the plain by the Brenta valley and did 
almost succeed while November and December of 191 7 were to bring 
still deadlier peril from the same direction. 

Like Britain and France, then, Italy failed to get forward in 1915. 
Like France she was now soon to be menaced by a deadly peril already 
preparing behind the screen of the Dolomites, as the Verdun drive was 


being organized in the forests east of the Meuse fortress. In Artois, in 
Champagne, in Trent, and on the Isonzo, the Central Powers had made 
good their defensive, while disposing of Russia. They were to maintain 
their lines successfully now, while Serbia was destroyed and the road to 
the Golden Horn and the Persian Gulf flung open. Afterward it would 
be time to come west and strive to win the war. 



As early as mid-July, when the Russians still held Warsaw and the 
real extent of the Dunajec disaster was yet unknown, there began to 
come from Belgrade, Bucharest, and Athens warnings that the Balkan 
situation was about to enter a new phase. Hardly had Warsaw fallen 
when the reports became more ominous, and it was no longer to be 
doubted that there was b ,ing organized north of the Danube and along 
the Serbian frontier a new Austro-German operation. Actually Macken- 
sen was already laying the foundation for his next great campaign. 

German strategy* was then hidden from the Allied statesmen and 
generals, who were still unconscious of the true magnitude of Russian 
disaster and the real impotence of French and British offensive cam- 
paigns on the western front. In July, 1915, the Allied press and publics 
still expected the fall of Gallipoli and the successful defence of Warsaw; 
they were still awaiting news that should assure them of the possession of 
Constantinople and the end of the German blockade of Russia. 

German statesmanship and High Command saw things much more 
clearly. It had become time to move southward. The situation in 
Turkey was not immediately perilous; German officers in the Sultan's 
service could assure the Kaiser that the lines of Gallipoli would hold; 
but the political conditions were such that it was plain to perceive an 
hour was coming when Germany would need to be represented by real 
force at Constantinople and at Sofia, when Athens would need a practical 
example of German power. 

In Turkey there was a strong party which still leaned to the Allied 
cause. Enver had driven the nation into war, but he had not yet won 
any considerable triumph, apart from the defeat of the British fleet at 
the Straits. A Turkish army had been heavily defeated in Armenia; 

a British army was moving up the Tigris toward Bagdad and was still 



unchecked, and the British army at the Dardanelles was receiving rein- 
forcements and more guns and munitions. Despite all efforts the flow 
of munitions from Germany and Austria to Turkey was far from ade- 
quate; Turkish losses were mounting rapidly; the suffering of the popula- 
tion of Constantinople was great; the war was becoming unpopular, and 
Enver was growing weaker, if not immediately in danger. 

The situation in Athens, in Sofia, in Bucharest will be examined in 
detail presently, but it is sufficient now to point out that, while in the 
Greek and Bulgar capitals the influence of the Thrones still protected 
German interests, the conditions were such that it was unwise to post- 
pone too long the transformation of the promises made to the Balkan 
sovereigns into a reality proven by German arms. The situation was 
favourable, but it was unlikely that it could forever remain favourable, 
for Allied diplomacy, however inept, was already beginning to pass 
from the domain of idealism to the region of solid fact, which alone has 
value in the Balkans. 

With the fall of Lemberg and the expulsion of the Russians from all 
but a corner of the Austrian territory near the Rumanian frontier, the 
Rumanian problem could be adjourned. Germany could afford to ignore 
Bucharest since after the Dunajec the chance of an immediate entrance 
of this small Latin state was slight; but Bulgaria and Greece, having 
goods to dispose of — armies and ships — and having ambitions which were 
popular as well as royal, were now pressing their wares, and if their kings 
were already German possessions the peoples were not. And more than 
this, these peoples were quite as willing to serve the Entente as the 
Central Powers, provided the bribe of the former were greater than that 
of the latter. 

In a word, the Balkan situation had now reached a stage at which, 
both because of diplomatic and political conditions, further German 
neglect might have fatal consequences. Turkey might crack; Bulgaria, 
despite its king, might make a bargain with the Allies. Venizelos might 
prevail over Constantine. Enver might presently fall to an assassin 
and his successor restore the old situation in which British and French 
influence was supreme at the Golden Horn. 


All this the Germans had foreseen. As early as the days when Lem- 
berg was falling, their attention had been turned to the Danube. On 
July 17, while Warsaw was still seemingly impregnable, Germany had 
set her hand to a treaty with the Bulgarian Czarlet whereby, in return 
for the promise of Bulgarian aid, she had contracted to send an army 
south before Christmas. Yet, so blind were the Allied diplomatists, 
that for weeks thereafter they still sought to purchase a Sovereign and 
a state already visibly marked "sold." 


The political aspects of the new Balkan programme of the Germans 
were hardly less obvious than the military. When the Allies went to the 
Dardanelles they had embarked upon a "sideshow" not alone foolish 
because it was beyond their resources, but fatal because it removed 
many thousands of men from the decisive field, which was the western 
front, and deprived them of any strategic reserve should they need it 
elsewhere. The British campaign in Mesopotamia was a similar 
example of bad strategy, destined to have evil effect in the future no 
longer distant. 

But a German campaign to Constantinople was another affair. 
Until Serbia was eliminated the Austrians would be compelled to keep 
large armies along the Danube and the Drina. They were bound to 
watch over their Serb subjects; they were bound to suffer in the 
eyes of all their Slav subjects because of the two Serbian victories of 
Valievo and the Jedar. But if the Germans once crushed Serbia and 
opened the road to Byzantium, then the mission of watching over a con- 
quered Serbia could be confided to a Bulgar ally. Bulgaria had the 
men and the material to take over the Balkan front, once Serbia was 

More than this, Turkish troops, once the road to Austria was open, 
could be brought to the eastern front to fight against Russia, as did 
actually occur a year later. They could be brought north to the Bulgar 
frontier to watch Rumania and to join in a general attack upon this 
state, if it should enter the war. This, too, did occur in the following 


year and strong Turkish forces were with Mackensen when he took the 
Dobrudja and pushed north through Constantza to the mouths of the 

When they sent their troops to the Dardanelles and Mesopotamia, 
the British locked them up in the peninsula, but when the Germans 
sent their armies to the southward they still kept them in close com- 
munication with the main masses in the east and the west. Troops from 
the Balkans could always be promptly recalled if necessary and sent 
to Galicia or Champagne with the briefest delay — a thing quite impos- 
sible in the case of the British troops at Gallipoli. But more than this, 
the Germans by crushing Serbia would actually make available for 
their own purposes both the Bulgar and the Turkish armies. Success 
would mean not opening a new front, but turning an old front over to 
new allies and in addition gaining divisions to use on the old fronts. The 
recruiting officer went with the conquerer on the road to the Near East. 

The Bulgarian army was not under 300,000 strong. The Turks still 
possessed a million men under arms and very large reserves of man-power 
still awaiting guns and equipment. By the new campaign Germany 
could hope to abolish the Serbian front, releasing Austrian troops for the 
Italian campaign; turn over to the Bulgars any problem raised by the 
sending of an Allied army to Salonica, if this should occur; and still 
count upon Bulgar and Turkish troops to overawe Rumania, whose real 
hostility was never doubted in Berlin. Further than this, German guns 
and ammunition would enable the Turks, fighting at a disadvantage 
now in Mesopotamia, to turn and save Bagdad. 

And beyond all these immediate possibilities loomed the larger 
horizon. Russia was being crushed. Her collapse was already in- 
evitable in the German mind. Either a separate peace or a revolution 
would follow the campaign of 191 5, the German quite correctly cal- 
culated. He would then have to deal with France, but for France he 
was already preparing the Verdun blow which would put the Republic 
out of the war, since he was satisfied that France could not successfully 
resist and he knew that Britain was unready. 

With France and Russia out, there was left Britain. But once 


German armies had opened the route to Asia Minor, the Bagdad and 
Hedjaz railroads pointed the way to an immediate invasion of Egypt by 
Suez and an eventual invasion of India by the route of Alexander the 
Great. Threatened in Egypt and India, deserted by French and Russian 
allies who had been forced by the Dunajec and a Verdun defeat 
separately to make peace, Britain, the Germans could expect, would 
abandon the battle, or, if she refused, Germany could confront with 
equanimity the prospect of a war with Britain alone, fought mainly by 
Turkish troops under German control in remote Asiatic regions, its 
European phase chiefly noteworthy because of the intensive submarine 
warfare which Germany was now considering. 

And if Britain yielded, then there was left to Germany the most 
astounding prize of modern history — the mastery of Central Europe and 
of Western Asia. Indemnified by France, who would bear the costs of 
the war; assured on her eastern frontier against Russia by the possession 
of Poland, Ukraine, and the Courland; controlling Bulgaria and 
Greece through their kings and Turkey by her agents, Germany could 
adjourn her other purposes until "next time." 

Never did the German genius for organization shine more brilliantly 
than in this Balkan episode. For just this moment Germany had been 
preparing for years. Her agents in all the Near East had laid the 
foundations of that German rule which was some day to come south 
across the Danube and reach Byzantium and Bagdad, Salonica and 
Smyrna, Suez and Basra. 

The moment had now come, but the political and military aspects had 
both been carefully weighed. Germany had delivered the blow at Russia 
which was becoming effective and would presently become well-nigh fatal. 
She was meditating and preparing the blow against France which was to 
be the Verdun campaign; and in the midst of these colossal operations she 
was already sketching the blow against Britain, to be delivered at Suez, 
the Heel of the British Achilles, as German writers had long insisted. 

Is it cause for wonder that the German, seeing these things 
face to face, made no effort to restrain his contempt for the Allied press 
and public men who, in the summer of 191 q, were shouting about 


trenches gained in Artois and Champagne, prospective advances in 
GaUipoU and Mesopotamia, and seeking to gloss over Russian disaster 
by false conclusions drawn from imperfect information? 


It remains now to discuss the actual Balkan facts during the period be- 
tween the outbreak of the war and the moment when Bulgaria formally 
allied herself with the Central Powers. We may ignore the Rumanian 
phase because Russian diplomacy quite foolishly refused to make fair 
terms with the Rumanians while Russian armies were still advancing vic- 
toriously in the Carpathians, believing that Rumanian aid was un- 
necessary; and Rumanian statesmen, after the Russian defeats, quite 
wisely decided that neutrality was their only safe course. It remained so 
even in the subsequent summer, when the great decision was made at 
Bucharest. But now it is safe to say that the Allies might have had 
Rumania at any moment before the Dunajec, and through Russian ar- 
rogance, lost aid which would have been of incalculable advantage. 

In the case of Bulgaria the Allied defeat was due to other causes. At 
the close of the Second Balkan War, Ferdinand, who had provoked the 
war at the instigation of Vienna, was saved from exile only by the finan- 
cial aid given to his country by Germany and Austria. Since he was 
always the creature of Vienna and of Berlin this did not change his 
status, but it should have warned the Allies. Here was a mean, cow- 
ardly, altogether abhorrent kinglet, whose allegiance to the enemies 
of the Allies was based alike on fear and on selfishness, who was still 
the cleverest diplomatist in German pay. He had neither a sincere nor 
an honest thought. His character was known to all. Yet for a whole 
year Allied diplomacy continued to deal with this man, basing its action 
on the theory that he was both a patriot and a friend. 

Ferdinand's subservience to the Central Powers was personal, not 
expressive of the will of his subjects. From the Second Balkan War 
Bulgaria had emerged shorn of her conquests. She had been plundered 
by Rumania. She had lost Macedonia to the Serbs, who had taken 
what, in their ante-bellum treaty, they had pledged to Bulgaria; she 


had lost Kavala and Drama to the Greeks after taking them; she had 
even lost Adrianople to the Turk. The victor of Lule Burgas, the state 
which had made the greatest sacrifice of all the Balkan nations, had 
emerged from the war the least benefited. 

Now Bulgaria — every man, woman, and child in Bulgaria — was 
determined to abolish the iniquitous Treaty of Bucharest, to regain what 
she had lost, and the Bulgarian army was at the service of the Alliance 
which would offer this restoration. The Bulgar was quite as willing to 
fight the Turk as the Serb, provided that the reward were equally 
good, and this willingness was not based upon sordid considerations. 
Macedonia was his Alsace, Adrianople his Trieste, the Dobrudja a 
recently amputated Lorraine still bleeding. 

But the difficulty within the situation lay in the fact that while the 
people of Bulgaria were ready to take either side, their Czar was already 
committed. Hence there never was any chance of winning Bulgaria 
to the Allied side short of eliminating Ferdinand, and this was beyond 
the conception, if not beyond the power, of the Allies. Instead they 
set out to persuade Serbia, Greece, and Rumania to restore the Bulgar's 
lands. Even had there been no question of bad faith this was a danger- 
ous experiment. Serbia had rendered magnificent service to the Alhcd 
cause and in so doing suffered terribly, while the Allies had done nothing 
for her. It came with bad grace from London and Paris then, this 
appeal to Serbia to surrender what she had won at the Brcgalnitza, 
while her great allies had still failed to open her road to the Adriatic. 
Once this road was open, once she had a window on the sea, she was 
ready to give up Monastir, but even this was not easy, for she still 
had a treaty with Greece which bound her to keep her contact with 
the state which had been her ally in the recent conflict. 

Serbia, however, was the least difficult of the obstacles. The Serb 
might yield, but what of Greece ? She had once, with bitter anguish, 
consented to see Kavala remain Bulgar, despite its overwhelming Greek 
population. But although she had agreed to this, Bulgaria had attacked 
her; and the atrocities of the Bulgars committed against the Hellenes of 
the Kavala district had roused all Greece in the Second Balkan War. 


Kavala had been won, Drama and Seres had been taken by Constantine 
after the great victory of Kilkis. Now the Allies, who desired Greek 
aid and the assistance of Greek armies, began their negotiations by call- 
ing upon Greece not to receive territory but to yield it, to surrender 
what she possessed against a possible future profit, after a bloody and 
doubtful struggle. 


Such a proposal as the cession of Kavala opened a new situation. 
The Greek King was as thoroughly committed to the German cause 
as Ferdinand. His wife is the sister of the German Emperor. He 
was a German Field Marshal and his military training had been Ger- 
man. He had accepted the Kaiser's mediaeval notions of royalty; he 
shared the Kaiser's hatred of the British and the French. He believed 
Germany would win ; he desired that she should ; and he was ready at 
all times to aid Germany when to do so was physically possible. 

All Constantine's natural sympathies were heightened by the fact 
that his great minister, Venizelos, was pro-Ally. Of all the Balkan fig- 
ures Venizelos alone is both great and admirable. New Greece had been 
fashioned by his hands. He had come from Crete in 1909 and saved the 
Hellenic State and the Danish dynasty. He had planned the Balkan 
confederation which conquered the Turk. He had organized the armies 
that defeated both the Osmanli and the Bulgar and gave Athens its 
first experience as a victorious capital in nearly twenty-five centuries. 
Inevitably the great minister clashed with the weak king. 

Again Allied statesmanship was blind to the fact. Venizelos 
was deservedly popular in Greece, but he was not an absolute master. 
The Greek people, having driven Constantine into exile but a few years 
before, were now loyal and admiring servants. He had brought military 
victory. He had expunged the shame of the earlier Turkish War. He 
had defeated Turkish armies and captured Salonica and Janina. He had 
routed the Bulgar hosts at Kilkis and pursued them into the remote 
fastnesses of the Upper Struma. 

Thus, when the Allies first sent their ships to the Dardanelles, Veni- 

A big gun used by the Germans in the siege 


Pioneers of the Austro-German forces building a bridge over the San River near Przemysl. 

On March 23, 1915, the city of Przemysl in Galicia surrendered to the Russians after a siege which had lasted 200 
days, and 1 19,0100 Austrians were taken prisoners. Ten weeks later, when the Germans had come to the aid of the Aus- 
trians, the city was recaptured after a furious assault which lasted about a week. The comparative length of the sieges 
is significant. 

A young officer of the Polish Legion cavalry troop questions a scout who has just returned from a reconnaissance 

A German scout finds a mortally wounded sentinel who had crawled to a stream to quench his thirst 


'1 liear constant talk ul peace," lie said. "1 hear story after story that the pro-Geiman influences at this Court 
are having their effects on you. I want to know if these reports are true? " (See page 386) 



Unexpectedly mild weather melted snow and ice and made hard going for this transport sledge, which finally skidded 

sidewise into the river 


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After the Russian defeat on the Dunajec, May i, 1915, disasters came thick and fast. To mention only a few: 
Warsaw was lost on August 4; Kovno on the 17th; and Brest-Litowsk had to be abandoned on the 25th. This picture 
shows the burning of the stores, with citizens attempting to make salvage of some of the grain, for their private hoards 

Miles and miles of German transport wagons creeping across the Polish plains 


These men fought bravely, but they were betrayed by the government. Time and again at the most critical hours 
during 191 5 ammunition failed. Hundreds of thousands of lives were sacrificed, great regions of Russia were devastated 
and lost, because of German intrigue in Petrograd and German influence among the reactionaries who surrounded the 

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zelos was unable to persuade Greece to send an army because the 
King opposed the project. Had this army been sent in February the 
GalHpoIi Peninsula would have been taken, because it was unfortified, 
and Greece would have admitted the Allies to Constantinople. But the 
King vetoed the proposal and the veto received the endorsement of a 
people who accepted the decision of the soldier Constantine over the 
advice of the civilian Venizelos. The King said that the operation 
was a military impossibility. To the Greek the judgment of the victor 
of Kilkis stood irrefutable. 

Once more, when the Allies sent their armies to the peninsula, 
Venizelos sought to send Greek contingents, as Sardinia had sent troops 
to the Crimea. But again the King interfered, dissolved the Boule, 
forced an election, and in the period before the election the Allied opera- 
tions had taken such a turn that even Venizelos could no longer confute 
the military judgment of the Greek sovereign. The Dardanelles cam- 
paign was failing as Constantine had forecast. 

Unhappily for Venizelos, his worst obstacle was Allied diplomacy. 
To placate Bulgaria the cession of Kavala was demanded of Greece. 
To this Venizelos was willing to consent, did consent, accepting in re- 
turn the promise of Smyrna and the Greek shore of Asia Minor. But 
the King promptly interposed his veto. He had conquered Kavala 
once, after Venizelos had signed it away; should it be resigned again after 
so much sacrifice ? Delegations of the Greek populations of the whole 
Trans-Struma region filled Athens. They gave force to the words of 
the King. Greece stood with its sovereign against its statesman. 

The entrance of Italy brought a new complication. Italy had taken 
Rhodes and the Dodecaneses in her Libyan War. These islands were 
as Greek as Athens itself. Italy had vetoed the union of northern 
Epirus with Greece after the First Balkan War and reserved these dis- 
tricts, also Hellenic by tongue and tradition, for herself, temporarily 
including them in the patchwork state of Albania, which had now 
crumbled to ruin. Greek troops were again in northern Epirus, but 
Rome had insisted that the occupation should be recognized as tempo- 



Italy was the one rival of the Greeks in the eastern Mediterranean. 
Italy sought to rebuild the Venetian Empire of the ^gean and to lay 
hold upon the cities and provinces of Asia Minor and the islands of the 
j^gean, which had been Hellenic in their population and their tradition 
since the remote days when they had provoked a Persian invasion 
by a resistance to another great and predatory empire. When Italy 
entered the war Greek sympathy with the Allies naturally and visibly 
cooled. When the Allies promised the Greeks Smyrna after the war 
against the cession of Kavala without delay, the Greek public rallied to 
the side of the King who opposed the cession. 

For months this sordid comedy went on. Ferdinand demanded for 
Bulgaria, as the price of adherence to the Allies, provinces which the 
Serb hesitated to yield, the Rumanian refused to cede, or the King of 
Greece roused his subjects to patriotic fury by declining to surrender. 

In all this it is impossible not to believe that Ferdinand and Con- 
stantine played together, because, when the Germans did come south, 
Constantine not only abandoned the Kavala district to the Bulgars, 
but directed the Greek garrison to surrender the forts, the garrisons, and 
the guns to the invader. Inevitably one is bound to conclude that 
the mission of Ferdinand and Constantine was to engage the Allies in 
impossible negotiations until the right moment arrived and then to throw 
off the mask. And never was a game more skillfully played. 

In all this time Allied diplomacy wholly failed to see the truth. It 
still dreamed of restoring the Balkan League which Sir Edward Grey 
had allowed to be slain at the Conference of London. While Germany 
promised Bulgaria and Greece territory not theirs as the reward of 
service, the Allies besought Greece and Serbia to surrender what they 
possessed to a Bulgaria known both by the Serbs and the Greeks to 
be actually bound by promises to the Central Powers and ready at 
any moment to transform the promises into performances. 

And while Allied diplomacy was asking the Balkan States to make 
sacrifices for its friendship, Allied prospects and prestige were rapidly 
falling. Bulgar and Greek soldiers alike had fought and conquered the 
Turk. The victors of Lule Burges and Yenidze-Vardar looked with 


amazement upon the failure of French and British troops at Gallipoli, 
where they confronted armies which had been driven out of Europe, 
save for Constantinople and GallipoH, in the few weelcs of the opening 
act of the First Balkan War. In the same fashion Russian disasters 
in Galicia and Poland made new echoes in Sofia and Athens. 

Had the Allies in May, 1915, sent to Salonica some of the troops 
which they wasted on the Gallipoli Peninsula, Greece would have been 
stampeded into the war and even Bulgaria might have broken away 
from its king. Backed by Allied men and fleets Venizelos could have 
carried Greece with him. At the least Serbia would have been saved 
and Bulgaria would have remained neutral. And Serbia, the faithful 
soldier of the Allies, was the only certain element in the situation. Yet 
to the end Allied diplomacy sought, not to save Serbia, but to compel 
the Serbs to make sacrifices; and those sacrifices, at last agreed to by 
Belgrade, were announced almost at the moment when Bulgaria was 
ready to strike. 


But the supreme miscalculation of the Allies was in their estimate of 
the contemporary value in the Balkans of a treaty made in different 
circumstances to cover wholly dissimilar conditions. After the Second 
Balkan War the victors, Rumania, Serbia, and Greece, had framed an 
alliance not unlike that made by the three states which had partitioned 
Poland. In case of a Bulgarian attack upon any one of the contracting 
nations, the other two were bound to make the attack a casus belli. 

Hence London and Paris at all times remained confident that, if Bul- 
garia should enter the war and attack Serbia, Rumania and Greece, 
faithful to their agreement, would spring to the aid of the Serb. To the 
very end Sir Edward Grey, and presumably Dclcasse, clung to this be- 
lief. Yet no belief could have been more unwarranted. Germany had 
torn up her treaty guaranteeing the neutrality of Belgium. She had 
done this merely because she needed an avenue of approach to an 
enemy she sought to strike down. Would Rumania and Greece hesitate 
to ignore another "scrap of paper" when their existence would be im- 
perilled by fulfilling their commitments ? 


Bulgaria having definitely committed herself to the Central Powers 
by the agreement of July 17, began to mobilize within a brief time. 
Turkey solemnly ceded to her old foe the strip of territory west of the 
Maritza along which ran the railroad from Sofia and Philippopolis to 
Dedeagatch, the sole Bulgarian seaport. There was now no question 
as to Bulgarian purpose. But still the Allies hesitated. A despairing 
cry came from Belgrade. "Let us attack the Bulgar before he is 
mobilized," the Serb cried. But the stem moralists of London and 
Paris, still listening to Ferdinand's soft words, his assurances that he 
was mobilizing solely for defensive purposes, forbade the Serb and 
sealed his doom. 

While Bulgaria was mobilizing, Constantine and Venizelos alike 
consented to Greek mobilization. But subsequently, when the mask 
was off, and Constantine kept Greece neutral, Bulgaria declared war 
upon Serbia. The situation was this: A great Russian army was, 
seemingly, on the point of capture about Vilna. All Russian armies 
were in retreat after a summer of unparalleled disaster. Russia was 
out of the war for months — Berlin said forever. The victor of the 
Dunajec was at the Danube with a strong army and a huge park of 
artillery. Austrian and German troops were at the Rumanian borders 
and Rumania was powerless. 

Accordingly Rumania renounced her obligations — to do otherwise 
would have been to invite the ruin that came soon enough, as it turned 
out. There was left Greece. Should she, without Allied assistance — 
for no Allied troops were immediately available — undertake the task of 
holding off the whole Bulgar army while Serbia struggled with Mack- 
ensen? The end of that struggle was assured from the outset, for the 
Serbs had no heavy artillery. Granted that the Bulgars were checked 
for the time, what would happen when Mackensen had disposed of the 
Serbs, as he was bound to dispose of them in a few short weeks ? 

The pathway of honour was clear. But Rumania, with a consider- 
able army and a frontier touching Russia, had renounced it. Was it 
likely that Greece would seek to earn the glory that Belgium had ac- 
quired by inviting the fate which Belgium had met, which Serbia was 


now about to meet, which Rumania faced one short year later? The 
Allies believed so to the end. In the closing hours Sir Edward Grey 
offered Greece Cyprus as compensation for fulfilling her obligations. 
Venizelos endeavoured to lead his country along the pathway of duty, 
the duty which he still saw. But with the consent of most of his 
subjects Constantine intervened, Venizelos fell and went out of power. 
Greece declared her neutrality and Serbia was left to perish. 

Constantine's decision cost him his crown. It was a decision which 
had been reached long in advance of the fact. His bad faith was soon 
to become notorious. He had ruined the Allied hopes at the Dardanelles 
when there was still a chance of victory in February and March. 
He had kept Greece neutral in later months before Germany was ready 
to strike, when Greek participation might have been really useful to the 
Allies and of permanent profit to his country. But when, in September, 
1915, he intervened to keep Greece out of the war, he acted in accord 
with the will of his countrymen. The heavy artillery of Mackensen 
along the Danube was already making echoes in Athens. 

Looking backward it is plain to see the extent of Allied folly. In the 
Balkans, men, money, and guns alone count. No Balkan state has any 
reason to trust the Concert of Europe or the component parts thereof. 
Again and again what has been won by Balkan blood has been returned 
to the Turk by European statesmanship. From San Stefano to the Con- 
ference of London the story is the same. Experience, bitter experience, 
has made realists of the Balkan peoples, and it was only by recognizing 
this fact that the Allies could hope to draw profit out of the Near East. 

Yet of the four considerable states, three — Serbia, Rumania, and 
Greece — were always friendly to the Allies. One entered the war in 
1914, another in 1916, and the third in 191 7. Had they entered at the 
outset or at any moment before Midsummer, 1915, this fact would have 
spelled disaster to the Central Powers. All could have been enlisted 
before the summer of 1915 and even Bulgaria might have been bought 
by concessions, after the Bulgars saw their neighbours enlisted. The 
Pro-Russian party at Sofia might have disposed of the Austrian Czarlet, 
none too popular after the Second Balkan War. 


But unless the Allies were willing to send men and guns, armies and 
fleets to the Near East — troops to Serbia, fleets to Salonica — there was no 
chance of a favourable outcome in 1915. When the Allies sent their 
troops to Gallipoli they disposed of their last strategic reserve. Divi- 
sion after division disappeared in the mud and dust of Gallipoli. These 
divisions would have saved Serbia, enlisted Greece, impressed Bulgaria. 
But the Allied attention was focussed, not upon the Danube but upon 
the Dardanelles. The consequence was the Serbian tragedy, with its 
concomitant circumstances which changed the whole character of the 

In July, 1914, Sir Edward Grey utterly failed to grasp the European 
situation. He could not face the facts. He continued to base his action 
upon his ideals and his aspirations. His failure was inevitable, but 
it was less to be condemned, perhaps, because all eff^orts were doomed to 
fail in the presence of inescapable war. In the Balkans, on the other 
hand, Grey had every chance. As usual his purposes were honourable, 
his methods above reproach; but his failure was more complete than 
anything in recent British history, and few failures have been more ex- 
pensive in all history. 

In the past, British foreign ministers have not infrequently been 
reproached with having displayed more perspicacity than principle. 
Sir Edward Grey's Balkan policy combined the maximum of principle 
with the irreducible minimum of perspicacity. His character and good 
repute survived the shock of all his defeats. But his country narrowly 
escaped permanent injury and his administration of British foreign pol- 
icy made it the jest of the world. 

The spectacle of the successor of Disraeli tricked, duped, played 
with, by a Bulgarian Czarlet must remain as the extreme contrast 
to the scene at the Congress of Berlin, where Beaconsfield divided with 
Bismarck the authority of Europe. The Balkan episode finally led to 
the fall of Grey as it promptly eliminated Delcasse. But, unhappily, 
opportunity in the east had preceded Sir Edward; he might return, it 
would not. 





The story of the Serbian campaign is briefly told. At the outset of 
the war Serbia had the best army of its size in Europe. It had destroyed 
the Turkish Macedonian Army at Kumanovo in 1 9 1 2, winning one of the 
most decisive victories in the history of war. It had completed its 
achievement at Monastir in a struggle of real importance although little 
known to the world, and its aid to the Bulgar had made the capture 
of Adrianople possible. Indeed, the Turkish commander had surren- 
dered his sword to a Serb, not to a Bulgar. 

In the Second Balkan War, the victory of Bregalnitza, won after a 
treacherous attack by the Bulgarians during a truce, had cleared Mace- 
donia of Ferdinand's troops and decided the issue of the war. At the 
Jedar Serbia had won the first great victory for the Allies in the World 
War and again at Valievo had routed and destroyed an Austrian force. 
Despite the horrors of the typhus epidemic of the winter of 1914-15 
the Serb armies still held the line of the Danube and the Save — that of 
the Dwina had no longer a military value, since two attempts by the 
Austrians had proven that this was not the road to Nish. 

With something like 150,000 veteran troops Marshal Putnik faced 
the gathering hosts of Mackensen. Behind him the railroad ran clear 
to Salonica through Nish, and from Salonica he drew his munitions and 
supplies from Allied ships. As long as this road remained open the es- 
cape of the Serb army was assured and the Serbs could calculate that 
before they had been driven south of the Morava Valley, aid would 
come to them from the western powers. The sole weakness of the Serb 
army, of real moment, was its lack of heavy guns. Behind the great 

Danube and the considerable Save its trench lines were admirable. 



They far surpassed those of Radko Dimitrieff at the Dunajec. Yet 
before such a concentration of artillery as had won the Dunajec it was 
always clear Serbian defence must crumble. 

But if the Serb position against an attack from the north was fairly 
satisfactory — wholly satisfactory save in the matter of heavy artillery 
— the menace of a Bulgarian attack from the east was unmistakable. 
Coming south from Belgrade the Vienna-Salonica railroad, after it 
leaves Nish, the temporary capital of Serbia, approaches the Bulgarian 
frontier. It is not a day's march from the border at Vranja. It then 
turns west again, but below Uskub, In the Vardar Valley, it again draws 
near to the territory of Ferdinand. 

Should the Bulgarians enter the war and push west, as they were 
bound to do, then the Serbs recognized from the outset that the Sa- 
lonica railroad would shortly be cut, unless the Allies were able to send 
aid in time. If the railroad was ut, then the Serbs would lose their 
line of munitionment and their single avenue of escape to their Allies 
at Salonica. There would then be left only the mountain tracks from 
Prisrend down the Drin Valley to Scutari and Durazzo, or up the Black 
Drin Valley to Ochrida and Monastir. And a Bulgar advance to Mon- 
astir would cut this road. 

The Balkan winter was in sight and retreat through these regions 
— utterly lacking in roads, in food supply, inhabited by hostile Al- 
banian tribes — meant the probable destruction of the Serb army under 
conditions more terrible than those which overwhelmed the Grand 
Army on its retreat from Moscow. As long as the peril came only from 
the north the Serb could make head. He could oppose a gallant resis- 
tance and by a slow retreat make his way down to the .^Egean, where he 
would find supplies and supports. His fate depended upon the Allied 
ability to cover his retreat between Nish and Salonica against the Bul- 
garian attack. 

As early as September 19 the first shells of Mackensen fell in Bel- 
grade and the same day Nish reported that Bulgaria was mobilizing. On 
September 27 came the despairing appeal of the Serbs to be permitted 
to attack Bulgaria, still mobilizing. But Ferdinand told the Allies an(/ 


the Allies told the Serbs that there was nothing to be feared from this 
mobilization; and since Greece, too, was mobilizing, London and Paris 
were satisfied that a Greek army would be ready to cover the Serb 
communications if Bulgaria entered the war. 

But on October 11 Bulgarian troops at last crossed the Serbian 
frontier. Venizelos fell, Constantine proclaimed his neutrality, and 
Serbia's sole hope now lay in the ability of the Allies to get troops from 
Gallipoli to the Vardar before the small Serb force in this region was 
disposed of. 


We have now to examine a twofold operation. Mackensen, with 
two armies, crossed the Danube between October 7 and 11, east and 
west of Belgrade. Thereafter his troops pushed south slowly, their 
heavy artillery preparing the way. His objective was Nish, where he 
aimed to make junction with the Bulgars, who were coming west out of 
Sofia and by Pirot. 

The Bulgars, In the meantime, were pushing three forces west. 
They moved along one side of the Serbia square, the eastern, as the 
Germans moved along the northern. One Bulgar army moved up the 
Danube to join hands with the Germans who had crossed the river 
east of Belgrade. When they met the Danube would be cleared 
and one line of communication between Bulgaria and her Allies — be- 
tween Berlin and Constantinople — would be open. A second Bulgar- 
ian army advanced toward Nish, seeking to cut off the Serbs to the 
north from their capital and also to cut the Belgrade-Salonica rail- 
road. Finally a third Bulgarian army, the most important, pushed 
over the low passes from Kustendil and moved at the Salonica rail- 
road in the Varda Valley with Veles as their first and Uskub as their 
ultimate objective. October 17 saw the Nish-Salonica line cut near 

Meantime, on October 5, the first Allied troops had landed at 
Salonica, disregarding the formal protest of the Greek government. 
By October 12 Sarrail had arrived and taken command and while 
the British pushed a division out toward the Struma to cover the flank, 



the French moved up the Vardar Valley and by October 19 were at 

Strumnitza station, just across the Serb frontier. Eight days later 

they were at Kriviolak. Here was the desperate crisis of the campaign. 

On October 20, while the French were just passing Strumnitza, 


The black area denotes the territory of the Central Powers. 

The checkered area shows neutral territory. 

Note how Serbia was cut off from Saloniki, whence the Allied relief was to come. 

a Strong Bulgar army had reached Veles and thus definitely cut the 
Salonica-Nish railroad. Two days later they were at Uskub; a wedge 
was thus inserted between the Serbs and their Allies. Unless the wedge 
could be removed the position of the Serb army to the north was crit- 
ical. Still, even at this moment, there was left the road south via 
Prisrend, Dibra, and Ochrida to Monastir, provided that the Serbs — hold- 


ing Babuna Pass, the gateway to Monastir from the Vardar valley near 
Veles — could hang on until Sarrail arrived. And on November 5 the 
French were less than ten miles from the Serbs at Babuna Pass. 

Once more, however, the Allies had come too late. Babuna Pass 
was now forced, the Serbs flung back upon Monastir, which was inde- 
fensible, and the French troops found themselves in deadly peril in 
their dangerously advanced positions along the Vardar south of the 
Babuna. There was nothing for it but to retreat rapidly, and in the next 
few days the French were drawn back to the Greek frontier, while the 
Bulgars pushed in from Monastir. 

Meantime Mackensen's armies had moved slowly. They were 
awaiting the moment when the Serb retreat should be cut off before 
seeking a decision. The time had come and German activity was now 
redoubled. The only roads open to the Serb armies to reach the sea- 
coast, to escape from the far-flung net, were by the Drin through Prisrend 
or over the Montenegrin Mountains; and the Bulgarians pushing north 
from Uskub were forcing the Katchanik Gorge and threatening these re- 
maining roads. 

What followed was not war but tragedy. In the next few weeks the 
wreck of Putnik's army, together with thousands of Serb peasants, 
fled over the Albanian Mountains down to the Adriatic. Thousands 
and thousands perished of hunger, of cold. The army which reached the 
shores of the Adriatic was an army of skeletons, not soldiers. Nor was 
Scutari a safe halting place, for Austrian troops were pushing south 
through Montenegro. Still southward the remnant of the Serbs pressed, 
now attacked by Albanian bands in Austrian pay. 

Yet the marvel of this episode is not the number of Serbians that 
perished, but the number that escaped. Thanks to the Italian navy 
many thousands actually got away to Corfu and there on that island 
was presently assembled the Serbian government, the Serbian army, all 
that was left of independent Serbia. The fate of Belgium had now over- 
taken another little people and King Peter, like King Albert, had 
waited in vain for his allies. The loss of Belgium was inevitable, but the 
Serbian tragedy was the more terrible because it was unnecessary. 



On November 28 the German Government announced the end of 
the campaign in the Balkans. The remnant of the Serb army had fled 
into the mountains of Albania. All of Serbia and Montenegro were 
either in Bulgarian and German hands or soon would be. More than 
100,000 prisoners had been captured and most of the Serb field artillery 
and equipment. Forty thousand square miles had been occupied besides 
northern Albania, which was destined to fall to Austrian and Bulgar 
forces at no distant date. 

As for the Anglo-French forces, they were back in Greece, covering 
Salonica. Their position was not unlike that of Wellington in the lines 
of Torres Vedras, but with the difference that the Kaiser could leave 
to his peninsular allies the task of containing this army whereas 
Napoleon could not assign a similar task to the Spanish. 

But the essential fact was that the Germans had now broken down 
the Serbian barrier between their Turkish ally and themselves. The 
Danube and the Bulgarian railroads provided an immediate road for 
men and munitions sent from Germany to Gallipoli. The Belgrade- 
Sofia-Constantinople railroad, temporarily wrecked by the Serbs, would 
soon be restored. The British position on Gallipoli had long been 
recognized as hopeless, so far as ofiFensive success was concerned, but it 
had now become perilous by reason of the arrival of German troops and 
guns at the Golden Horn. It was no longer a question of taking Con- 
stantinople, but of saving the Allied army. 

More than this the Salonica problem became daily more pressing. 
The folly of divergent operations, "side shows," was now apparent and 
there was an insistent demand to abandon Salonica, since Serbia was lost. 
But this meant to abandon Serbia permanently and to give Greece over 
to the Germans, for no one could doubt that the moment the Allies left 
Salonica, Constantine would welcome his brother-in-law to Athens and 
Greece would follow Bulgaria into the orbit of the Central Powers. 

After long delays the Allies decided to stay — the voice of France was 
emphatic, although JoflPre objected and Kitchener protested. To 


abandon Serbia was to kill all chance of Rumanian aid. It was to sur- 
render the Balkans to the Germans. It was also to insure an attack at 
Suez. But if the decision to stay was sound, it carried with it very obvi- 
ous disadvantages, not the least of which was that of imposing a real 
burden upon transport to supply a huge army overseas. It locked up 
troops which would be needed on the western front. It consumed men 
and munitions on a minor operation and against Bulgaria, not Germany. 

The evacuation of Gallipoli was now assured and the transfer of 
some of the troops to Salonica would reduce the burden of the Allies in 
the east, but Britain was at this very moment pushing forward another 
"side show" far off in Mesopotamia, also doomed to disaster as a result 
of Germany's successful thrust to the Golden Horn, because at no 
distant date German officers were to aid Turkish troops in the capture 
of a British army on the Tigris. Kut-el-Amara in the next spring is a 
very real consequence of the German success in the Balkans in the 
autumn of 1915. 

The Serbian tragedy is not the last act in the Balkan drama. An- 
other year was to see Rumania destroyed, this time by treachery not 
folly — by Russian betrayal, not by British or French fatuity. But with 
the fall of Serbia the Balkans were lost to the Allies. The main pur- 
pose of Germany before the war was now achieved in one campaign. 
The great barrier between Turkey and Germany, erected by the two 
Balkan Wars to the great satisfaction of Britain, France, and Russia, 
was in ruins. Austria, backed by Germany, had risked a World War 
rather than permit this Serbian barrier to endure. It had fallen now; 
it had fallen at the hour when Russia also lay in ruins ; it had fallen in one 
of the most brilliant campaigns of the war, inexpensive as it was short. 
And the campaign had not committed Germany to new expenditures of 
men. On the contrary, it had provided Bulgar and Osmanli divisions to 
serve German ends and released Austrian armies for service against Italy. 

In all respects, the Balkan campaign was for the Kaiser a fortunate 
episode in a fortunate year. It made a happy last act to a drama which 
quite justly filled Germany with confidence as to the future and com- 
plete satisfaction as to the past. 





The campaign of 191 5 ends with the Balkan operations. Between 
the campaigns of 19 14 and 191 5 there is no clear frontier. If in the west 
the termination of the First Battle of Ypres supplies a dividing line in 
late November, the operations in the east continued without cessation all 
through the winter. Austria's peril compelled untiring and incessant Ger- 
man effort. But between the campaigns of 1915 and 1916 there is a dis- 
tinct break and the end of that campaign which we have now examined 
is one of the memorable moments of the first three years of the war. 

At the close of 19 14 the Germans were faced with the fact that on 
the larger side they had failed. The Mame and its succeeding phases 
from the Aisne to the Yser had been a defeat, their major purposes had 
not been realized, and while this was the situation in the west, in the east 
Austria was unmistakably beaten and threatened with complete col- 
lapse. The real as contrasted with the apparent situation at the end 
of the year 1914 was unfavourable to the Germans. 

A year later the change had been almost immeasurable. German 
armies had marched from victory to victory. More than a hundred 
thousand square miles of Russian territory, with a population of twenty 
odd millions, had been occupied. Poland, Courland, Volhynia, were 
in German hands. Only Riga, of all the towns marked by the Pan- 
Germans on the eastern marches of Teutonism, had escaped Hin- 
denburg and Mackensen, and Riga was always to be had for a price — 
was, in fact, to fall ultimately without the payment of any price. War- 
saw, Libau, Vilna, Grodno, Kovno, Brest, Bielostok, Lomza, Lublin, 
Ivangorod — who could count the number or tell the names of all the 

cities taken? 



And in addition, tiiirty thousand square miles of Austrian territory 
had been rescued. On New Year's Day, 191 5, Russian troops were oc- 
cupying most of Galicia and the Bukovina; they even clung to a ma- 
terial fragment of East Prussia itself. Now all was changed. Only a few 
thousand square miles — a thin strip about Tarnopol — remained of 
Russian conquests. And Russia herself was beaten, was doomed to 
fall the prey, first to as tate of reaction and then of revolution. Time 
would complete the work begun by Mackensen at the Dunajec, even 
though Brusiloff was to win a few great battles in Galicia before the 
ultimate crash came. 

Turning southward Germany had broken through the wall that sep- 
arated her from Turkey. Serbia had fallen and more than forty thou- 
sand square miles of Balkan territory were at Germany's command and 
in the hands of her allies. Bulgaria had enlisted and the Bulgar army 
was a new weapon in the armoury of the German General Staff. Turk- 
ish man-power was now at the service of German drill sergeants. Con- 
stantine was but waiting for a German army of deliverance to throw 
his country into the hands of the master of Central Europe. 

In the west the German line had held; the conquests of August and 
September, 1914, were still intact: the mineral districts of France, of 
Belgium ; the factories of the Latin north. From Antwerp to the Golden 
Horn, from Scutari to the Gulf of Alexandretta, German railroads bore 
men and munitions; down the Hedjaz railway from Aleppo were moving 
the advance guards of the force that was to assail Egypt through Suez 
when the right moment came. The British army at Gallipoli was 
condemned to evacuation and might be captured. The Allied force at 
Salonica was impotent for a long period. The British army in Mesopo- 
tamia had already involved itself in ruin and was presently to surrender. 

In sum, the eastern situation had been disposed of, while the west- 
ern perils had been arrested. Germany had eliminated Russia, as she 
had sought to eliminate France in the campaign of 1914. She was now 
free to try again. England was unready — could not be ready for six 
months. Russia was incapable of any effort in this same period. The 
Balkan situation was satisfactory and would remain so for two years. 



finally changing only to a still more favourable aspect with the destruc- 
tion of Rumania and the onset of the Russian Revolution. 

There was left only France, stricken but resolute, mutilated but 
still opposing strong armies and an unshaken spirit. Between Germany 

The territory occupied by Germany and her Allies in April, 1915 

and supreme victory France was the single remaining obstacle, and 
German hands were now free to deal with France, far freer than they 
had been in August and September, 1914. 



Despite all Allied calculations, too, the Germans were neither starv- 
ing nor dejected. The war had turned out longer than they had fore- 



seen; the first attempt had not brought the complete victory expected, 
but it had brought results that endured upon the map; while the cam- 
paign against Russia and the march to the Golden Horn had fired the 
Teutonic mind and set in motion an imagination which is ever active 

Middle Europe completed: the situation on December 31, 1915 

when German progress is in the picture. The British blockade had 
not brought actual misery. It had only begun to bring moderate pri- 

The German people wanted peace, but so did all peoples; and the 
German people, looking with natural pride upon what had been accom* 
plished, could believe their leaders who declared that one more great 
effort would bring peace, victorious peace, peace with its subsequent 


prosperity already insured by the German expansion from the Baltic 
to the Persian Gulf. Mitteleuropa was a fact. The German place in 
the sun desired by all Germans was stamped on every map of Europe. 
It remained only to have a final reckoning with a blind and obstinate 
France who refused to face facts that were undeniable, which appealed 
from the map to the imaginations of their statesmen and newspapers. 

London, Paris, New York did not see the things as they were and 
therefore could not grasp the German emotion. They could not per- 
ceive, because the British and French press missed the facts; c^^uld not 
realize that Germany had won the war, won her main objectives, not 
merely so far as the map was concerned, but also in the minds of the 
German people. These newspapers continued to describe the Germans 
as dejected and desperate when German optimism was still mounting 
and German hopes, temporarily shaken in 1914, again taking on vitality. 

The German, on his side, believed that the Allies saw things with his 
eyes, knew themselves defeated and merely uttered vain boasts and idle 
prophecies to cover chagrin and despair. If the French believed 
him to be starving, he was convinced that the French were at the point 
of moral and material exhaustion. For him France was "bled white." 
As for the British, he was convinced that they would never arrive. And 
the German still believed that they never meant to arrive. As he 
thought the Gaul unstable, so he believed the Briton perfidious. He be- 
lieved that the British nation was incapable and unwilling to pay the 
price in blood of continental warfare on the new scale. 

Through the neutral press and the neutral correspondent the two 
camps trumpeted forth their conflicting claims. Each saw a part of 
the truth hidden to the other and affirmed that the other was dealing 
in wilful mendacity and calculated dishonesty. This was the strangest 
war ever carried on, but it should have been enlightening to those whose 
business it was to analyze the evidence that came from opposite camps. 
Yet German statesmen solemnly informed their fellow countrymen 
that the French and British people, already knowing themselves beaten, 
were wickedly driven to slaughter by Briand and Grey (sic). While 
British and French statesmen encouraged the absurd belief that Ger- 


many was crumbling to her ruin, her armies despairing, her civilians 

Of the two views it is impossible not to believe that the German was 
more nearly in accordance with contemporary fact. All the actual gain, 
all the immediate profit in Europe, had been German and it had been 
colossal. The task was not completed, but much, very much, had been 
done. The German was right about the map. He was also right about 
his own will to conquer. His only error was in believing that his foe 
was both beaten and conscious of defeat. He was ignorant, too, of the 
terrible consequences of the crimes of his armies. He could not know 
that his enemies were prepared, and for long would remain prepared, 
to die in defeat rather than live under conditions imposed by a German 
victory, because of the deeds of German soldiers. 

For the peoples at war with Germany the contest had become a 
spiritual contest. It remained for the German a material thing and on 
the material side his victory seemed incontestable. Actually the war 
was of course still undecided; the Germans had miscalculated the ex- 
tent of their success; the Allies had underestimated German strength 
and the capacity of the German nation for organization and endurance. 
The first campaign had been a German defeat, the second a great Ger- 
man victory, but there were to be a third and a fourth, reducing to dust 
the calculations of each contestant, making the beliefs of each in 1915 
seem ridiculous in 1917. And yet, since out ofthese mistaken calculations 
and conceptions grew the subsequent decisions and the later military 
operations, their value to the student of history is manifest. 


Until the coming of the World War, men had been accustomed to 
turn to the pages which describe the Napoleonic cycle and read and re- 
read with unfailing wonder the narrative of those mighty campaigns of 
the young Emperor — Austerlitz, Jena, Friedland — which in three years 
made him master of Europe. At their close he had surrounded France 
with subject states. Italy was a dependency, the Confederation of 
the Rhine a tool, the Grand Duchy of Warsaw a paper creation, subject 


to his pleasure. The map of Europe of 1807 is the final demonstration 
of the magnitude of French achievement. 

Yet it seems far from unlikely that when the World War has become as 
remote as the Napoleonic struggle seemed in the last years of the Nine- 
teenth Century, German achievement of 1915 will have acquired some- 
thing like the glamour, the marvellous character that the Napoleonic 
possessed for the generation that was middle-aged when the World 
War came. 

Between May and December German armies marched into Warsaw 
and Vilna, Belgrade and Constantinople. German domination 
descended from the Danube to the Morava, from the Morava to 
the Vardar; it passed the Balkans and tarried briefly at the Golden 
Horn; it passed over into Asia and arrived at Suez and Bagdad. The 
victory of the Dunajec had immediate and eventual consequences be- 
yond those of any single Napoleonic victory. What Napoleon failed 
to do in the Iberian Peninsula, the Kaiser achieved in the Balkan. 

Russia, France, Britain, Italy, Belgium, Serbia were allied against 
the German with all their great resources and all the great resources 
of their colonies. The United States became in fact, if not admittedly, 
the workshop and the granary of the Allies. Yet in the face of the 
most tremendous coalition known to history, the German in 1915 
marched from victory to victory. Though another Leipzig and another 
Waterloo abolish this empire and the material consequences of this 
achievement, is it too much to believe that it will endure in legend and 
history, even though not one evidence survives upon the map to testify 
to the German conquests of 1915 ? 

New Germany, like the New France born of the Revolution, went forth 
to fight the world and in 1915 her fight rivalled the struggle of France 
on the military and material side. Between January- and December, 
191 5, the Germans built an empire comparable only to the creation 
of Napoleon. They remade the map of Europe and stretched a mailed 
hand across the Hellespont to Asia Minor. Dreams and aspirations at 
which Europe had laughed for a quarter of a century became realities. 

To the nations and peoples she conquered, Germany did not, like 


France a century before, carry any new gospel. Her coming did not 
free serfs or spread the ideal of personal liberty. Her faith was the 
sterile faith of force. To those who yielded she brought order of the 
uncompromising sort; to those who resisted she brought death. Her 
pathway was indicated by ruin, and peoples as well as rulers fled before 
her armies. Her progress was marked by slaughter and by ashes. 
Hers was a conquest like to that of the successors of Mohammed. One 
idea and one alone possessed her soldiers and her statesmen — she 
condemned those whom she conquered to become Teutonic or perish; she 
spared neither the monuments of the past, which came within range of 
her artillery, nor the women of her enemies whose destruction or dis- 
honour might serve a German end. Wherever her armies passed they 
sowed hatred and aroused resentment. But in their power, in their 
force, there was something that inspired awe as does the thunderbolt. 
And in 1915 the German might was still unchecked. The confidence 
of the German people in victory, the belief of the German race in its 
high destiny and world mission, was unshaken. From Ostend to the en- 
virons of Riga, from the Elbe to the Euphrates, German will was abso- 
lute, German power unchallenged. One of the mightiest empires of 
history had been erected and there remained only the task of making its 
foundations secure against another Napoleonic debacle. 


With the close of the Balkan campaign the second phase of the 
World War, as I see it, comes to an end. Already German guns were 
being assembled in the Forest of Gremilly under Verdun for the third 
act. In the first, Germany had sought to crush western civilization. 
Her failure at the Marne had been the central episode in the first phase. 
In the second she had assailed Russia, the east ; and her success had been 
complete, her victory at the Dunajec one of the great victories of human 

In this second phase Germany had erected her long-contemplated 
Mitteleuropa upon the ruins of Russian military power and Serbian 


independence. It remained to perpetuate this Mitteleuropa by a final 
victory in a new conflict with the west. The decision of the Marne 
must be reopened and Germany had already chosen her battle-ground 
along the Meuse. At the Dunajec, in her Russian campaign and her 
Balkan promenade, Germany had fashioned a new weapon, a new method 
of attack. On her experience at the Dunajec she had based a new sys- 
tem of attack which she purposed to employ against France. It was 
not with any vainglorious words that the Kaiser bade his soldiers en- 
dure one more campaign which should be short and bring peace. He be- 
lieved what he said and his belief was warranted, although his faith 
was misplaced. 

And as the Marne and the Dunajec were the central episodes in the 
first two phases of the World War, Verdun was to supply the unity for 
the third. At Verdun Germany was to make her second bid for world 
supremacy. Failing, she was to lose the ofifensive and stand at bay, while 
the superior numbers, resources, and weapons of her enemies at last be- 
gan to break her lines. She was to be driven to the submarine warfare 
which would draw the United States into the contest at the moment 
Russia retired from the battle line, and transform the war from a 
struggle of Europe with the Teuton to a crusade of the World against the 
German Empire. 

AH this belongs to another phase, yet it must be considered in 
estimating the situation as the second phase closed. On January i, 
1916, Germany was at the highest point in her history, and while she 
prepared for the final blow — methodically, meticulously, with a clear 
vision as to the issues — her enemies still chattered about her imaginary 
ills and their even more imaginary successes. Neither the French nor 
the British people saw the war as it was — saw Germany as she actually 
existed. Not until the Kaiser's troops stood on the ruins of Fort Douau- 
mont and approached the last line of Verdun's defences was the truth 
to be realized in London, to be spoken in Paris. As the second phase 
ended the most tremendous blow that was ever levelled against a nation 
was preparing, and one will search in vain through all the Allied press 
to detect a contemporary appreciation of the real situation. 


There is a legend of Napoleon at St. Helena, which describes the great 
Emperor, after having reviewed all the events of the Waterloo campaign, 
as breaking forth with the impatient exclamation: "And still I should 
have won." Looking at the situation as it existed in February, 1916, 
will there be less reason for the German in the future to make the 
same observation? 


Mr. Simonds's History of the Progress 
OF THE War Will Be Carried For- 
ward IN the Succeeding Volumes 









































"a common sweeper" 

My sponsor and chaperon in this EHzabethan world of eighteenth-century 
seamen was an A.B. who had gone down in the Landrail, assisted at the HeU- 
goland fight, seen the Blucher sink and the bombs dropped on our boats when 
we tried to save the drowning ("Whereby," as he said, "those Germans died 
gottstrafin' their own country because zve didn't wait to be strafed"), and 
has now found more peaceful days in an Office ashore. He led me across 
many decks from craft to craft to study the various appliances that they 
specialize in. Almost our last was what a North Country trawler called a 
"common sweeper," that is to say, a mine-sweeper. She was at tea in her 
shirt-sleeves, and she protested loudly that there was "nothing in sweeping." 
"See that wire rope?" she said. "Well, it leads through that lead to the 
ship which you're sweepin' zvith. She makes her end fast and you make 
yourn. Then you sweep together at whichever depth you've agreed upon 
between you, by means of that arrangement there which regulates the depth. 
They give you a glass sort o' thing for keepin' your distance from the other 
ship, but that's not wanted if you know each other. Well, then, you sweep, 
as the sayin' is. There's nothin' in it. You sweep till this wire rope fouls 
the bloomin' mines. Then you go on till they appear on the surface, so to 
say, and then you explodes them by means of shootin' at 'em with that rifle 
in the galley there. There's nothin' in sweepin' more than that." 

"And if you hit a mine ?" I asked. 

"You go up — but you hadn't ought to hit 'em, if you're careful. The 
thing is to get hold of the first mine all right, and then you go on to the next, 
and so on, in a way o' speakin'." 

"And you can fish, too, 'tween times," said a voice from the next boat. 
A man leaned over and returned a borrowed mug. They talked about fish- 
ing — notably that once they caught some red mullet, which the "common 
sweeper" and his neighbour both agreed was "not natural in those waters." 
As for mere sweeping, it bored them profoundly to talk about it. I only 

* From "Sea Warfare," by Rudyard Kipling, copyright Rudyard Kipling, 1917. 



learned later, as part of the natural history of mines, that if you rake the tri- 
nitrotoluol by hand out of a German mine you develop eruptions and skin- 
poisoning. But on the authority of two experts, there is nothing in sweep- 
ing. Nothing whatever ! 


Now imagine, not a pistol-shot from these crowded quays, a little Office 
hung round with charts that are pencilled and noted over various shoals and 
soundings. There is a movable Ust of the boats at work, with quaint and 
domestic names. Outside the window lies the packed harbour— outside that 
again the line of traffic up and down — a stately cinema-show of six ships to 
the hour. For the moment the film sticks. A boat — probably a "common 
sweeper" — reports an obstruction in a traffic lane a few miles away. She 
has found and exploded one mine. The Office heard the dull boom of it 
before the wireless report came in. In all likelihood there is a nest of them 
there. It is possible that a submarine may have got in last night between 
certain shoals and laid them out. The shoals are being shepherded in case 
she is hidden anywhere, but the boundaries of the newly discovered mine- 
area must be fixed and the traffic deviated. There is a tramp outside with 
tugs in attendance. She has hit something and is leaking badly. Where 
shall she go ? The Office gives her her destination — the harbour is too full 
for her to settle down here. She swings off between the faithful tugs. Down 
coast some one asks by wireless if they shall hold up their traffic. It is exactly 
like a signaller "offering" a train to the next block. "Yes," the Office re- 
plies. "Wait a while. If it's what we think, there will be a Uttle delay. 
If it isn't what we think, there will be a Uttle longer delay." Meantime, 
sweepers are nosing round the suspected area — "looking for cuckoos' eggs," 
as a voice suggests ; and a patrol-boat lathers her way down coast to catch 
and stop anything that may be on the move, for skippers are sometimes 
rather careless. Words begin to drop out of the air into the chart-hung 
Office. "Six and a half cables south, fifteen east" of something or other. 
"Mark it well, and tell them to work up from there," is the order. "Another 
mine exploded!" "Yes, and we heard that too," says the Office. "What 
about the submarine?" "Elizabeth Huggins reports . . ." 

Elizabeth's scandal must be fairly high flavoured, for a torpedo-boat of 
immoral aspect sHngs herself out of harbour and hastens to share it. If 
Elizabeth has not spoken the truth, there may be words between the parties. 
For the present a pencilled suggestion seems to cover the case, together with 
a demand, as far as one can make out, for "more common sweepers." They 
will be forthcoming very shortly. Those at work have got the run of the 
mines now, and are busily howking them up. A trawler-skipper wishes to 
.'peak to the Office. "They" have ordered him out, but his boiler, most of 


it, is on the quay at the present time, and "ye'U remember, it's the same wi' 
my foremast an' port rigging, sir." The Office does not precisely remember, 
but if boiler and foremast are on the quay the rest of the ship had better stay 
alongside. The skipper falls away relieved. (He scraped a tramp a few 
nights ago in a bit of a sea.) There is a little mutter of gun-fire somewhere 
across the gray water where a fleet is at work. A monitor as broad as she 
is long comes back from wherever the trouble is, slips through the harbour 
mouth, all wreathed with signals, is received by two motherly lighters, and, 
to all appearance, goes to sleep between them. The Office does not even 
look up ; for that is not in their department. They have found a trawler to 
replace the boilerless one. Her name is shd into the rack. The immoral 
torpedo-boat flounces back to her moorings. Evidently what Elizabeth 
Huggins said was not evidence. The messages and replies begin again as the 
day closes. 


I was honoured by a glimpse into this veiled life in a boat which was merely 
practising between trips. Submarines are Hke cats. They never tell "who 
they were with last night," and they sleep as much as they can. If you 
board a submarine ofi^ duty you generally see a perspective of fore-shortened 
fattish men laid all along. The men say that except at certain times it is 
rather an easy life, with relaxed regulations about smoking, calculated to 
make a man put on flesh. One requires well-padded nerves. Many of the 
men do not appear on deck throughout the whole trip. After all, why should 
they if they don't want to ? They know that they are responsible in their 
department for their comrades' lives as their comrades are responsible for 
theirs. What's the use of flapping about ? Better lay in some magazines 
and cigarettes. 

When we set forth there had been some trouble in the fairway, and a 
mined neutral, whose misfortune all bore with exemplary calm, was careened 
on a near-by shoal. 

"Suppose there are more mines knocking about V I suggested. 

"We'll hope there aren't," was the soothing reply. "Mines are all Joss. 
You either hit 'em or you don't. And if you do, they don't always go ofi^. 
They scrape alongside." 

"What's the etiquette then ?" 

"Shut off both propellers and hope." 

Wr were dodging various craft down the harbour when a squadron of 
trawlets came out on our beam, at that extravagant rate of speed which un- 
limited Government coal always leads to. They were led by an ugly, up- 
standing, black-sided buccaneer with twelve-pounders. 

"Ah! That's the King of the Trawlers. Isn't he carrying dog, too! 
Give him room !" one said. 


We were all in the narrowed harbour mouth together. 

"'There's my youngest daughter. Take a look at her!'" some one 
hummed as a punctilious navy cap slid by on a very near bridge. 

"We'll fall in behind him. They're going over to the neutral. Then 
they'll sweep. By the bye, did you hear about one of the passengers in the 
neutral yesterday .'' He was taken off, of course, by a destroyer, and the 
only thing he said was: 'Twenty-five time I 'ave insured, but not this 
time. . . . 'Ang it!'" 

The trawlers lunged ahead toward the forlorn neutral. Our destroyer 
nipped past us with that high-shouldered, terrier-like pouncing action of the 
newer boats, and went ahead. A tramp in ballast, her propeller half out of 
water, threshed along through the sallow haze. 

"Lord ! What a shot!" somebody said enviously. The men on the little 
deck looked across at the slow-moving silhouette. One of them, a cigarette 
behind his ear, smiled at a companion. 

Then we went down — not as they go when they are pressed (the record, I 
believe, is 50 feet in 50 seconds from top to bottom), but genteelly, to an or- 
chestra of appropriate sounds, roarings, and blowings, and after the orders, 
which come from the commander alone, utter silence and peace. 

"There's the bottom. We bumped at fifty — fifty-two," he said. 

"I didn't feel it." 

"We'll try again. Watch the gauge, and you'll see it flick a little." 


The easiest way of finding a mine-field is to steam into it, on the edge of 
night for choice, with a steep sea running, for that brings the bows down 
like a chopper on the detonator-horns. Some boats have enjoyed this ex- 
perience and still live. There was one destroyer (and there may have been 
others since) who came through twenty-four hours of highly compressed life. 
She had an idea that there was a mine-field somewhere about, and left her 
companions behind while she explored. The weather was dead calm, and 
she walked delicately. She saw one Scandinavian steamer blow up a couple 
of miles away, rescued the skipper and some hands ; saw another neutral, 
which she could not reach till all was over, skied in another direction ; and, 
between her life-saving efforts and her natural curiosity, got herself as thor- 
oughly mixed up with the field as a camel among tent-ropes. A destroyer's 
bows are very fine, and her sides are very straight. This causes her to cleave 
the wave with the minimum of disturbance, and this boat had no desire to 
cleave anything else. None the less, from time to time, she heard a mine 
grate, or tinkle, or jar (I could not arrive at the precise note it strikes, but 
they say it is unpleasant) on her plates. Sometimes she would be free of 
them for a long while, and began to hope she was clear. At other times they 


were numerous, but when at last she seemed to have worried out of the danger 
zone, lieutenant and sub together left the bridge for a cup of tea. ("In those 
days we took mines very seriously, you know.") As they were in act to 
drink, they heard the hateful sound again just outside the wardroom. Both 
put their cups down with extreme care, little fingers extended ("We felt as 
if they might blow up, too"), and tip-toed on deck, where they met the fo'c's'le 
also on tip-toe. They pulled themselves together, and asked severely what 
the fo'c's'le thought it was doing. "Beg pardon, sir, but there's another of 
those blighters tap-tapping alongside, our end." They all waited and lis- 
tened to their common coffin being nailed by Death himself. But the things 
bumped away. At this point they thought it only decent to invite the rescued 
skipper, warm and blanketed in one of their bunks, to step up and do any 
further perishing in the open. 

"No, thank you," said he. "Last time I was blown up in my bunk, too. 
That was all right. So I think, now, too, I stay in my bunk here. It is cold 

Somehow or other they got out of the mess after all. "Yes, we used to 
take mines awfully seriously in those days. One comfort is, Fritz '11 take them 
seriously when he comes out. Fritz don't like mines." 

"Who does V I wanted to know. 

"If you'd been here a little while ago, you'd seen a commander comin' in 
with a big 'un slung under his counter. He brought the beastly thing in to 
analyse. The rest of his squadron followed at two-knot intervals, and every 
thing in harbour that had steam up scattered." 



(Formerly First Sea Lord of the Admiralty) 

We of this generation owe a great debt to the naval strategists of the past. 
I have studied with great profit and admiration their guiding principles of 
strategy, and have been influenced by the high devotion to duty of Lord 
St. Vincent and others who laid the foundations of Britain's naval greatness. 
There are great differences, however, between the conditions of to-day and those 
of a hundred years ago. These lie in the greater speed of ships ; in the longer 
range of guns ; in the menace of the torpedo as fired from ships, destroyers, and 
submarines ; in the menace of mines ; and in the use of aircraft scouts, and of 
wireless telegraphy. In the Napoleonic era the ships opened fire with guns 
at ranges of about 800 yards ; the ships of to-day open fire at 22,(X>o yards' 
(or over eleven nautical miles') range, and gun-fire begins to be very effective 
at 18,000 yards. The torpedo as fired from surface vessels is effective cer- 
tainly up to 10,000 yards' range, and this requires that a ship shall keep be- 
yond this distance to fight her guns. 

As the conditions of visibihty, in the North Sea particularly, are frequently 
such as to make fighting difficult beyond a range of 10,000 yards, and as 
modern fleets are invariably accompanied by very large numbers of de- 
stroyers whose main duty is to attack with the torpedo the heavy ships of 
the enemy, it will be recognized how great becomes the responsibility of the 
admiral in command of a fleet, particularly under the conditions of low visi- 
bility to which I have referred ; as soon as destroyers tumble upon a fleet 
within torpedo range the situation becomes critical for the heavy ships. 

The submarine is another factor which has changed the situation, as this 
class of vessel, combined with the use of mines, entirely prevents the close 
blockade resorted to in former days. In addition, these two weapons add 
greatly to the anxieties of those in command. It is one thing to fight an 
enemy that you can see. It is a different matter to deal with a hidden foe. 
Thus modern conditions add immensely in this respect to the responsibility 
of those commanding fleets. They cannot get warning of the enemy being 
at sea until the enemy is well at sea. Nelson, watching Villeneuve off Cadiz, 
had his inshore squadron close into the enemy's port, and could see what was 
actually going on inside that port. The British fleet of to-day, watching 
the German High Seas Fleet, is not in the same happy position. The farther 
the watching ships are from the enemy's port the greater is the facility with 





These African troops have discarded their uniforms and are seeking relaxation in a war-dance. The British colonial 
governments interfere with native customs as little as possible. Few things are " verboten." That is one reason why 
the British colonies are so successful. 










/TV ■ 







These troops did good service in German East Africa. Of tine physique and enlisted for a period of nine years, they 

make excellent warriors under white officers 

Copynght hy InUruattonal Nf^vs Service 


Soon after the outbreak of the World War their officers petitioned the War Office asking for service in France. Their 

request was granted 

Domestic scene within the hnes of the French colonial troops on the western front 


Native East Indian regiments served England well on many fronts, and despite persistent German intrigue and the 
lavish expenditure of German money there was no revolution in India 







liHE^-,, /< 



^[ T^X 






^H. ' fip 



The spahis are native Algerine troops in the French service. The use of the native troops has proved somewhat 
of a mixed blessing to the Allies because of the natives' insistence upon practising their playful customs in cutting ofF 
white men's heads, ears, and fingers, and preserving them as trophies. 


These Asian soldiers wear the steel helmet it will be noted, though many of the colonial troops cling to tluir own char- 
acteristic styles of headgear 


There are scores of different styles for arranging the Indian Sepoy's pugaree, or turban. Those who 
know can name at a glance any individual's native place by observing his pugaree's arrangement 


French peasants, when the war began, were amazed at the costume of these British " savages." But the valorous deeds 
of the " Kilties" soon won for them both fame and friendliness throughout the whole of France 



..i.iotml film Stn-ice 

His equipment includes f;as-mask, wrist-watcln, and "shorts," wliiih are far more comfortable than breeches in the fiery 

heat of this sun-baked region 


which the enemy can escape, and the greater is the difficulty of intercepting 
him. There was never any likelihood in the olden days of the enemy's fleet 
escaping unseen unless the blockading squadron was forced from its watching 
position by bad weather, which, of course, occasionally occurred. In our day 
submarines and mines compel the watching force to take up their station 
farther and farther away. In spite of this, and in spite of the German boast 
as to the occasions on which the German fleet has searched the North Sea for 
the British fleet, our enemies have only on one occasion ventured sufficiently 
far with their main fleet to give us an opportunity to engage them. No 
vessels, neutral or British, have sighted the High Seas Fleet far from its ports 
on any other occasion. It is true that on the 19th of August of last year the 
enemy's fleet came within measurable distance of the English coast, being 
sighted by some of our patrols, but they turned back, presumably because the 
presence of our fleet was reported, perhaps by their aircraft. Raids on the 
British coast with fast cruisers or battle-cruisers have been carried out, but 
on each occasion the passage from German waters has been made apparently 
under cover of the night, the enemy appearing off our coast at dawn and 
retiring before comparatively small forces. Such feats were, of course, im- 
possible in the days of slow speed, and are now undertaken probably only in 
the hope of enticing us into the adoption of a false strategy by breaking up 
our forces to guard all vulnerable points. I do not criticise the Germans for 
their strategy or for not running any risks with their fleet. On the other hand, 
their boasts of searching the North Sea for the enemy must be pronounced 
as without justifiable basis. 

The next point to which I would like to draw your attention has reference 
to the world-wide nature of the war so far as the British navy is concerned. 
It is not perhaps always realized how far-reaching are our naval activities, 
and how great, therefore, is the call on our naval resources. It may be inter- 
esting to state that the approximate number of vessels of all classes which 
comprise the British navy of to-day is nearly 4,000. This includes battle- 
ships, battle-cruisers, light cruisers, destroyers, submarine boats, mine 
sweepers, patrols, and many other miscellaneous craft, all of which are neces- 
sary for the effective conduct of a war of to-day. Our activities range from 
the White Sea, where we are doing our best to assist our gallant Russian 
allies, past the North and South Atlantic, where cruiser squadrons are at 
work, on to the far Pacific, where we are working in cooperation with our 
gallant Japanese allies. In the Mediterranean, the navy took no incon- 
siderable part in the Dardanelles campaign, assisted by our gallant French 
allies, and is now working with both the French and Italian navies in con- 
nection with the Balkan campaign and in the Adriatic. On the West Coast 
of Africa the navy played a useful part in the fighting in the Cameroons. On 
the East Coast of Africa the naval forces, including our river gunboats. 


monitors, and aircraft, have rendered great service to our kinsmen from the 
Union of South Africa. In the Persian Gulf and up the Tigris River numerous 
river gunboats and other vessels are assisting our army in the Mesopotamian 
campaign. Our East Indian squadron, which is working from Port Said 
through the Canal and the Red Sea, is helping the army of Egypt and safe- 
guarding the communications with India, and thence to far-eastern waters. 
In the early days of the war the navy was pleased and honoured to work 
along with our Japanese allies in the capture of Kiaou Chau. 

In fact, it may be said that there is no part of the world where the navy 
has not duties and responsibilities in connection with this war. And I 
might draw attention to the arduous and continuous work of the cruiser 
squadron in home waters, which is mainly engaged in preventing supplies 
from reaching our enemies. Ships are intercepted and boarded in great 
numbers under every condition of weather. Some idea of the work may 
be gathered from the fact that, on an average, eighty ships per week are 
intercepted and examined on the high seas by the vessels of this squadron. 

The task of keeping the enormous mass of ships working in all parts of the 
world, of supplying them with fuel, munitions, etc., can only be recognized 
by those in possession of all the facts. The work, too, involves a great effort 
on the part of the mercantile marine. Without our mercantile marine the 
navy, and, indeed, the nation, could not exist. Upon it we have been depend- 
ent for the movement of our troops overseas, over seven millions of men 
having been transported, along with the guns, munitions, and stores required 
by the army. The safeguarding of these transports, both from the attack of 
such service vessels as have been at large and from submarine attack, has been 
carried out by the navy. We have had to draw also upon the personnel of the 
mercantile marine, not only for the manning of the transport ships, but also 
very largely for the manning of the whole of our patrol and mine-sweeping 
craft. Nearly 2,500 captains being employed as skippers, R.N.R.,^ the 
number of R.N. R. executive officers has increased almost four-fold since the 
outbreak of war. Indeed, it is impossible to measure fully the debt which 
the country owes to our mercantile marine. 

In the old days it used to be said that there was jealousy between 
the mercantile marine and the Royal Navy, but whatever may have been 
the case in the old days, there is no room now in the navy for anything but 
the most sincere admiration and respect for the officers and men of the 
mercantile marine. I think I know sufficient of those officers and men to 
believe that the feeling is reciprocated. Those of us who have been closely 
associated with the officers and men who man our armed merchant vessels 
and patrol craft have realized from the first day of the war how magnifi- 
cent were their services, how courageous their conduct, and how unflinching 

' Royal Naval Reserve. 


their devotion to duty under the most dangerous conditions. The value 
of the services of the officers and men of the mercantile marine goes also 
far beyond their work in armed vessels. When one thinks of the innumer- 
able cases of unarmed ships being sunk by torpedo or gun-fire far from 
land in a heavy sea, with the ship's company dependent alone upon boats 
for their safety, one is lost in admiration of the spirit of heroism of those 
who not only endure dangers and hardships without complaint, but are ever 
ready to take risks again and again in repeated voyages in their ships. 

The submarine menace to the merchant service is far greater now^ than in 
any period of the war, and it requires all our energy to combat it. It must 
and will be dealt with ; of that I am confident. But we have to make good 
our inevitable losses, and in order to do this we are dependent upon the ship- 
building industry of this country. The munitions organization has done a 
great work for the output of munitions ; it now remains for the shipbuilders 
and marine engineers to rival that work. The first essential is the whole- 
hearted cooperation of the men in the shipbuilding yards and in the engineer- 
ing workshops. In the same way as Sir Douglas Haig has appealed to the 
munitions workers to give up holidays and devote themselves to the supply of 
those munitions which are essential for the safety and success of their com- 
rades in the trenches, I now appeal to the men in the ship-yards and engineer- 
ing shops to put forth their best efforts continuously and ungrudgingly to 
keep up the strength of our mercantile marine, and to provide those gallant 
fellows, who have gone through innumerable dangers and hardships when 
their ships have been sunk, with new vessels with which to carry on the 
transport of the necessary supplies of food and material for the manhood 
and the industries of the country. Let there be no question of strikes, no 
bad time-keeping, no slacking, but let masters and men remember how great 
is their responsibility, not only toward the navy and the nation, but also 
toward our allies. 

Before I leave this subject may I presume to remind the big shipping 
companies of the privilege which is theirs to see that some provision is made 
out of the war profits for the wives and children of those gallant fellows who 
have given their lives for their country when their ships have been sunk, as 
truly as those who have lost their lives in the battle line. It is not for me to 
make suggestions, but I venture to say that the hearts of the officers and 
men would be lightened in the continued presence of danger and the recurring 
possibilities of disaster if those they may leave behind them would be cared 
for and educated. 

In this hasty survey of the naval side of war I have not as yet said a word 
on the point which is really nearest to my heart, and that is the subject of the 
spirit of the officers and men of the fleet of which I have so recently given up 

' In January, 1917. 


the command. During two and a half years of war the endeavour to keep 
that fleet at a high pitch of efficiency has necessitated strenuous and unceas- 
ing effort on the part of every one connected with the fleet, either afloat or 
ashore. I said at the outset of my remarks that conditions affecting naval 
warfare differed to-day from those of a hundred years ago. That applies 
almost exclusively to materiel and is due to the advance in applied science, 
which has brought vast progress, almost revolutionary change, to the navy, 
as to other departments of activity. In some cases these changes can be 
commended if war is the only means of settling differences ; in other respects 
they are reprehensible, and have been wantonly used by our enemies. There 
has, however, been little change in our men, except in the development of 
higher principles and in fuller recognition of individual responsibility in the 
national cause. The spirit of our forefathers lives on in all its vigour and 
devotion to King and country in the officers and men of to-day, with this 
added, that there is a higher standard of personal worth, of mental alertness, 
and of moral rectitude. No one could ask for a finer personnel than we have 
in the navy. Education has enabled every man to arrive at a just appreci- 
ation of the justice of our cause, and to conduct himself as becomes a man, 
fighting for the freedom of the smaller nations and for the liberation of human- 
ity from the threatened thraldom of military slavery. Can there be any 
doubt of the issue when this fundamental belief is associated, as it is, with 
all-pervading patriotism and unflagging zeal to accompHsh the end we and 
our aUies have in view ? Every man in the navy is eager and prepared to 
do his duty. He asks, and he is entitled by his services and sacrifices to ask, 
that the nation shall do its part by working with a self-denying diligence equal 
to that of our soldiers and sailors, so that there may be provided that great 
variety and enormous volume of material which is required for the fighting 
forces ; and that all men and all women shall by practising strict economy 
render possible the maintenance of adequate financial sinews of war. If we 
all do our part, all will be well with us. Of one prominent fact I can speak 
with full confidence born of experience — the nation can depend on the 
navy's being ready, resourceful, and rehable. 






Under the light of incandescents, great maps glare white, lining the walls 
like sheets hung up to dry, with black blobs and flags pinned on to represent 
the positions of ships. The shades are drawn, and not a ray of light pierces 
through to the murk of the darkened streets of London — a London hiding it- 
self from Zeppelins. Here in the innermost room of the "Chambers of Stra- 
tegy," in the new wing of the Admiralty building at Whitehall, is the council 
chamber of the British War Staff. It is the real nerve centre of the British 

Wireless has turned the Nelsons of to-day into mere subordinates. Their 
orders come not from the deck of the flag-ship, but from one of the heaviest, 
solidest flat-top desks in the heart of London, behind v/hich sits the First Sea 
Lord of the Admiralty. His orders flash night and day across the seven 
seas, in the secret code, relayed from fighting ship to fighting ship until they 
reach their man, though he be the captain of a lone cruiser on the far side of 
the world. The command of the British navy and the command of the 
British army are to-day both "desk jobs" in London. The navy fights as 
it is ordered to fight by the War Staff. There is no roar of big guns at the 
Admiralty, no smoke of battle; and yet there is no lack of tense dramatic 

Let us imagine ourselves present at one of these dramatic moments. It 
is in November, 1914. Cradock's ships have just been wiped out off the 
Chilean coast. All England is demanding naval revenge. 

A door of the inner chamber jerks open, typewriters are heard clicking, 
clerks are seen running about carrying baskets of letters. In bolts a man 
with gold braid up to his elbows, heavy set, bull-dogged of jaw, gray and 
wrinkled by experience : Lord Fisher of Kilverstone, Admiral of the Fleet, 
again on the firing-line, and then the active master mind of the British fight- 
ing ships. Years ago I saw him first on board the Neiv Tork in Bermuda, 
a typical roast-beef John Bull minus the side whiskers; and alongside him 
Admiral Sampson, the victor of Santiago, was aesthetic in his scholarly 



Like Lord St. Vincent, Admiral Fisher is a fighting nan whether in office, 
drawing room, or on the quarter-deck. His cry, "War is violence and moder- 
ation is imbecility," stamps the character of this man who, from the ease of a 
retired oflicer's life, answered his country's call to put vigour into the war policy 
of the British navy. At seventy-four he is the biggest man with the biggest 
job in the United Kingdom — bigger than the King, the ill-fated Kitchener, 
or Churchill, already somewhat discredited by his Quixotic Antwerp ad- 

As Lord Fisher enters the Chamber there is a growl from the jaws, a snap 
of the teeth, and in his general appearance the suggestion of a bull pricked by 
the picador's darts. The First Sea Lord has cleared for action and is eager to 
avenge the defeat in the Pacific. 

Bending over maps and plans heaped on a large table, parallel rulers and 
dividers in hand, is Vice-Admiral Sir F. C. Doveton Sturdee, K.C.B., C.V.O., 
C.M.G., Chief of the War Staff, tall, spare — in consultation with his fellow 
juniors — all grave, grayish. 

"Sturdee, you made all these nice plans," snarls Fisher with a trip-ham- 
mer salvo of sarcasm, "why don't you carry them out yourself?" 

Sturdee, the discredited strategist, smarting under the defeat of Cradock's 
ships, for whose destruction he was partly responsible, exclaims : 

"Will you let me ?" 

"Yes, go!" 

Sturdee's plans or their bungling had doomed Admiral Cradock's ships. 
Now his chance has come. Von Spec's ships must be sunk. And he is the 
man selected to do it. 

Sturdee writes out his own orders to the squadron which is to do the trick. 
The battle cruisers were under repairs. There was no time to be lost and 
the workmen were taken along to complete their jobs, to be dropped off at 
the first coaling point. It was touch and go. At the break of a signal the 
course is laid down the South American coast. 


At the Falklands the enemy is met — the rest is history. All was over 
within a few hours. There was no hitch in Sturdee's plans this time, when 
he himself met the German fleet in the South Atlantic. By assembling for 
this engagement a British fleet that in gun-power could blanket the Germans, 
he made a mathematical certainty of victory. And the mathematics were 
the mathematics of the War Staff in London. Admiral Von Spee went down 
with his flag-ship, the Scharnhorst, and the little flags that had marked the 
probable location of his fleet on the great maps in the Chamber of the Wai 
Staff were thrown into the discard. 


And Sturdee, the cast-ofF strategist of the Battenberg regime, became the 
great hero. The war is full of strange things, but nothing stranger than this 
solitary excursion : Admiral Sturdee one day in London more or less under a 
cloud — a few weeks later a conqueror, who has placed the last rivet in Great 
Britain's command of the seven seas. 

So Cradock and his gallant band did not die in vain. His defeat made a 
moral victory. 


I saw Rear-Admiral Sir Christopher Cradock last in April, 1914, on the 
quarter-deck of the Chester in Vera Cruz. Sailing his gig, he came alongside 
in true Bristol fashion to call on Captain Moffett, the skipper of the American 
cruiser. Cradock, debonair in shining white, sauntered over the side carry- 
ing his Airedale — awfully unmilitary, but he was a chum of the skipper's; 
besides, a British admiral, senior, on a foreign station, does just as he pleases. 
Though ranking as admiral, he tactfully gave the right of way to the American 
commander-in-chief at Vera Cruz. Over the silver in the Admiral's cabin 
on the JVyoming he cracked his last joke with a German, Captain Koehler of 
the Dresden, later of that unlucky will-o'-the-wisp, the Karlsruhe. 

Poor Cradock, finest of men, courageous to a fault, the kind of seaman 
who would give battle in a steam-launch to a dreadnought — he fought to the 
last, going down with his flag unfurled as the setting sun sank behind the 
rollers of the Pacific. He was the first admiral to go— the martyr of 
bungled strategy. Left unevenly matched, with poor, antiquated ships 
manned by landsmen, he faced an enemy superior in guns, men, and 
speed, and his personal courage had to make up for the weakness of his 
ships. Even the old tub of a battleship sent as reinforcement was two 
hundred miles away. Cradock realized his inferiority, and that he held the 
Admiralty directly responsible is indicated in a letter written by his secre- 
tary : "We feel that the Admiralty should have a better force — but we will 
cheerfully fight whatever odds we may have to face." His epitaph he wrote 
himself — ^"The navy defends nothing; it attacks." 

Only the Otranto and the Glasgow of Cradock's squadron escaped. One 
touch in a letter from an ofllicer on the Glasgow shows clearly the fine fighting 
spirit of the British naval man. When you read it, try to visualize the scene 
and realize what kind of a hell such a fight as this is with the weight of guns 
against you and the shells tearing your ship like tissue-paper. Says the 
letter : 

"After about one and a half hours' fighting, the Monmouth caught fire, too, 
but fortunately we got it under. The Monmouth then reported 'I am taking 


water badly forward, engines disabled, and in a sinking condition, but am 
making toward the enemy to try and torpedo her.'" 

The technics of the game that brought about the British defeat off the 
Chilean coast were forged with a master hand. We must give credit to the 
Germans for keeping the sea for four months while being continuously chased. 
Von Spee's assembling of his far-flung units in battle formation will stand 
out as one of the brilliant touches of historic naval campaigns. Of course, 
it was all a game of wireless, involving many a breach of neutrality. Ad- 
miral Von Spee's agents in Ecuador and Colombia held the fate of Cradock 
in their hands — he could not move without the German's knowledge. The 
skill of the German hand was diabolically fine — keen brain-work this, ad- 
mirable to the craftsman, contemptible to the righteous sentimentalist. 


I did not see the fight in the Helgoland Bight, the first naval engagement 
of the war. No one not in uniform saw it, e.xcept the crew of the Norwegian 
steamer Kong Guttorm, which, after being hit in the line of fire, hustled away 
in a fright. But a friend of mine who was in the thick of it, told me how the 
Admiralty trap was set. 

"Yes, we baited the snare," he said. "And they bit. It cost the blighters 
four ships, and we smashed a few. It was a bit of all-right, and we had a good 
smack at them. And this is how it worked : 

"Suddenly 'blows' a submarine. As it pops out above the water, the 
conning-tower hatch is opened and men come out on the narrow deck and 
look around sort of helplessly and fiddle about the rudders, peering over the 
side. The craft appears sadly disabled, and that right before the enemy. 
Up bobs another 'sub' close by; its people get on deck and begin shouting to 
the first — making signs of general distress ; a tow-line is broken out, an at- 
tempt is made to save the disabled one. Finally the tow-line is passed, and, 
backing and filling, the pair slowly start — one towing the other. From the 
background the Fearless is standing in to be of help and principally to draw 
the fire from the poor submarines. 

"At last the German ships spot them. Their destroyers begin to move, 
the cruisers are getting under way. Capture is imminent — one helpless 
submarine, at least — what a cinch ! Can't you see the gleam in the eye of 
the Germans .'' As the enemy's destroyer flotillas steam out and approach to 
get in range, a gum-booted, whistling British sailor steps out on the deck 
of the 'sub' and slowly casts loose the tow-line, which is hauled in from 
the other fellow. An officer looks about from the conning-tower hatch, 
descends, and closes it. With filled tanks both 'subs' drop out of sight 
and, unseen almost — just slender, upright sticks, surmounted by Httle ob- 


long disks — creep along in the shadow of the breaking swell, turn finally 
seaward, and, sinking, swim away like fishes. And the Fearless is retreating 
to the northwest. 

"The decoy game has worked — they've taken hook, sinker, and all. The 
Germans are coming out in chase. 

"Tearing through the mist, the cruiser Arethusa leading, speed the 
British destroyer flotillas, spread out in fan formation like a sun-burst 
— but in black — throbbing, panting devils, tearing leanly through the sea, 
the green of their wakes cut by trailing smoke. They are the additional 
lure in the ruse piled on to draw the enemy under the guns of the British 
cruisers outside." 

The fight was sharp, with equal bravery on both sides. Only a skirmish, 
it was Great Britain's first success in the open since the capture of the United 
States frigate Chesapeake over a hundred years ago. But it was by no means 
the glorious victory heralded by the ha'penny press. In spite of poor shooting 
by the Germans, the British were badly mauled. The battle cruisers saved 
the day. 

"And now let me tell you the strangest incident of that whole fight. 

"One of our boats was left behind, the one from the Defender. There she 
was, filled with rescued Germans, sea kicking up, no water aboard, Helgoland 
fort but twenty-five miles distant, the enemy's ships steaming up and shells 
falling right and left. But a submarine had taken in the whole aflFair through 
her periscope, and up pops our E 4 to the surface, blows her tanks, opens her 
conning-tower, takes our boat crew aboard, puts grub and medicines in the 
boat, tells the Germans to shove off and be good, and then dives and ducks 
for home and England. . . . No — it's God's truth. You could fancy it 
as a story-book by Jules Verne ; but it happened — it's in the official des- 

The escape of the Goeben in the Mediterranean will go down in English 
history as a naval humiliation. 

There is a story that wireless instructions from the Admiralty were con- 
fusing. Perhaps, if the admiral on the spot could have used his discretion 
this time, instead of merely carrying out wireless orders from the Admiralty, 
the result might have been different. However this may be, the Goeben did 
slip into the Dardanelles. An action outside would have ended her career 
and the Breslau's, and the war party in Turkey would never have dared a 
declaration of war. But the arrival of the Goeben primed the Moslem 
mind as the final spark for a Jehad. In consequence, the senior British 
admiral in the Mediterranean was recalled, the second in command court- 



The sinking of the Audacious has been ascribed to a submarine. Ahhough 
the news of the loss of this big ship was not at once pubHshed in England, it 
was known in naval circles within six hours. She was sunk by a mine — 
the greatest prize a mine ever had. As an event affecting the future of ships 
this looms up as a very important incident of the war. The world's naval 
architects would give much to know all the circumstances. 

Seven dreadnoughts were in line, the Audacious being third. The entire 
squadron was bound for battle practice. The ship struck a mine about 9: 30 
in the morning. There was at first no outward evidence that she had hit. 
The information came to the admiral by signal, and the rest of the ships scat- 
tered. In such circumstances flight is sometimes more than justified. It is 
the order. 

The Audacious kept'afloat for twelve hours, filling gradually. The Olympic 
tried to tow her but she listed to port and foundered. The mine had sprung 
the turbine shaftings out of alignment. If the machinery had worked, the 
ship could have been saved. These details are common property; of some 
other particulars I have given my word not to speak. 

Mines have played a deadly role in this war. To hem in the German fleet, 
keep it from escaping through the Channel, frighten away blockade-runners 
and mine-layers, England announced the mining of the North Sea, and de- 
clared it a "military area." The sea-borne commerce of Scandinavia was 
knocked into a cocked hat. Some neutral shipping was blown up by gale- 
torn mines. But yet — there are not enough mines in the whole world to close this 
area effectively. 

Above all, this mine-field has not stopped the action of German subma- 
rines. Even to this day one sometimes hears the naive question: "Why 
have the German submarines been so much more successful than the British V 
For one reason, and it is a simple one. The German fleet stays in port, and 
save for raids the Germans have evacuated the North Sea ; while the British 
ships have been on the seas, fair targets for the officers of the Kaiser's U-boats. 
But considering the seventeen-hour winter nights on the North Sea, and 
the great number of ships traversing the Barred Zone, the Germans should 
have done still better. The heavy toll levied by the submarines has brought 
out very clearly this fact — that the best defence against them is speed plus 
zigzag courses. 

The German campaign of attrition duringtheearlypart of the war succeeded 
because the British had not yet learned this lesson. The three cruisers of the 
Cressy class went to the bottom because they were patrolling at a speed of 
seven knots in waters infested by the enemy's submarines and unattended by 
destroyers. So the Hogue and the Cressy were sunk because fhey stopped to 


save the lives of the crew of the sinking Aboukir. Von Weddigen in his 
submarine had ample time to reload his torpedo tubes after sinking the 
Aboukir, and finish up the slaughter of the other two ships almost at his 

When the survivors of these submarined cruisers were brought to Har- 
wich, I talked to many of them. These fellows had been in the water for 
hours. They had lost their ships and their mates, twelve hundred in all. I 
expected curses on the Germans — hard words. Instead, Jack's first say was : 
"The Dutchers did a fine job. They got us all." 

The Hermes and the Hazvke also went to the bottom because they were 
cruising at a speed slower than that of their invisible enemy, the submarine. 
The Niger lay peacefully — and carelessly — at anchor in the open roadstead 
of Deal, dead in the water. 


All things considered, the English submarines are giving as good an ac- 
count of themselves as the German U-boats. Their work in the Baltic has 
been splendid. They are in the hands of young men who are full of enthu- 
siasm, a brotherhood of daredevils, cousins of those in the destroyers. The 
British submarine B 11, passing under five rows of mines in the Dardanelles 
and sinking the old bucket Messoudiyeh, did only a part of a day's work. 
There was an American element in this feat — the Sperry gyroscopic compass, 
which gives the "subs" their true bearing under water, and without which 
their course would be mere guesswork. Looking for game, the British "subs" 
have ventured far up the Baltic, based on the Russian coast. And one 
from the Harwich flotillas came up to the very chain-slung gates of the 
Kiel Canal. 

The naval game of secrecy is played to its limit regarding the action of 
submarines. At the beginning of the war, when the first British submarine 
came into its base at Harwich flying the skull and crossbones flag, indicating 
that an enemy's ship had been sunk, the crew and some of the oflicers described 
in detail how their torpedoes had gone home. The Admiralty discouraged 
that kind of conversation thereafter by threatening no shore liberty for any 
member of the ship's company who spun yarns. 

The man in the street used to shout "Why doesn't JeUicoe eat up the 
German fleet V^ He wanted a Trafalgar served hot with his breakfast, pref- 
erably near the coast, with parquet seats on Dover Cliff's. 

The kiUing of a hundred women and children on the East Coast with no 
British ships to stop the attack was another black eye for the Admiralty. Why 
were the Germans allowed to stay about right under the cliff's of Hayburn 
Wyke, only awaiting dawn to open fire ? 


THE German's coast raids 

The answer is not far to seek. No navy can be strong enough to prevent 
occasional raids upon its coast by an enemy. The Germans can make many 
raids, but they cannot land an expeditionary force on British soil while the 
British navy is afloat. The very fundamental principle of naval strategy 
demands that the English fighting fleet stay outside the Channel and the 
North Sea, and that only scouts and ships of secondary value be kept inside 
for blockading and patrol. That the British navy thus far has splendidly 
accomplished its great purpose — the command of the sea — is quite unques- 

There was a little panic of distrust because of the loss of the Formidable 
by submarine attack. The British public condemned the navy for it. As a 
matter of fact, the Formidable was but a small part of the price for sea-mastery. 
She was a smaUish ship of low freeboard, and could not fight the gale at full 
speed ahead, but had to slow down. Under slow engines she was an easy 
mark for a German submarine, and she was torpedoed. She had been 
engaged in bombarding the Belgian coast, and it was simply remarkable 
luck that the Germans did not bag more of these coast bombarders, all 
ancient crocks. . 

It cannot be denied that every success which the Germans won in their 
campaign of attrition during the early part of the war succeeded because 
the British were asleep. The British sea-lion had snored for a hundred 
years in splendid peace strength. Until Germany came seeking her "place 
in the sun" it knew no rival; no one counted, not even our navy. It 
was the greatest navy in the world. Every one said so, even those who 
commanded it. 

It rehed a bit too much on the tradition of the glorious past. It had all 
the theories of make-believe manoeuvres — though it never had fired an angry 
shot in battle. It raised its own type of naval officer, shm-faced and Hthe — 
so unlike any other Englishman — with but one game to play, the navy's. 
But in its days of unquestioned greatness the British navy came to be gov- 
erned by old men, conservatively wise. The day's work was done by "the 
youngsters," some nineteen hundred lieutenants, full of vim, resource, and 
double-barrelled nerve; but the young ones had nothing to say in the bigger 
things ; they had only to obey the seniors, full of titles and alphabetical 
honours — the ninety-two admirals. So routine took the place of energy — 
the red blood simmering slowly away with increased gold braid and waist- 
band. Thus tradition established rank at the expense of keenness. 

In spite of its strength, the British navy has been back up against the wall, 
fighting the new game of the Germans, the game of attrition, the guerilla thrust 
in the dark, the knife hidden under the cape. At first the British made the 


usual mistake of despising the enemy. But that is no more. In the little 
action off the Dutch coast four German destroyers with nothing but pop- 
guns stood up for an hour against the murderous fire of the British flotilla 
ten times as strong, never surrendering. That is the sort of stuff which thrills 
even an enemy — and makes him think, too. 


At one time the Germans caused the British admirals great anxiety. Not 
the youngsters in the ships — they were cool as always — but the authorities. 
This extract, from a letter written by one who is on the inside, represents fairly 
well what was then the official attitude: "I believe that we are in for the 
tightest thing that we have ever been up against. I beUeve that unless we 
are damned careful we shall be licked. . . . We shall lick the Germans, in 
the end, but God only knows what will happen in the interim." 

Now that, too, is over. The complacency of a hundred years Is gone, the 
pin-pricks of the Germans have had their moral effect, and the British navy 
has settled down to its work. 

Far-sighted Fisher did a good deal to arouse the navy more than twelve 
years ago. He realized that the Kaiser's navy had but one objective — Eng- 
land — and so, instead of being all over the earth, the British fleet stayed in 
the North Sea. And his imagination visualized the dreadnought, which at 
one fell swoop made junk of the German fleet, compelling a fresh start on a 
new basis. He was the official introducer of this type, almost its adaptive 
creator. The submarine came from America to England through his efforts. 
And twelve years ago he actually remade the British navy by wrecking 
every useless ship and man ; scrapping some fifty millions of dollars' worth 
of fighting craft as an encumbrance to efficiency. Brass polish went by 
the board, and ability, not smart paint, stood for promotion. A bull in 
a china-shop, he overturned all naval precedents, challenged every conser- 
vative, and came near being impeached by Parliament. But he has been 
amply vindicated. 

There were many important naval lessons for us in the first six months of 
fighting with weapons that by some had been looked upon as experiments. 
We learned the importance of mines and of submarines. The Goeben episode 
forced home the lesson of trusting the professional man, the naval officer on 
the spot, not the civilian office-head. Von Spec's action off the coast of Chile 
and Sturdee's off the Falklands brought out the soundness of the American 
principle of gun-fire — get the drop on the other man first. Our entire system 
of long-range firing rests upon delivering the first salvo three seconds or more 
before the enemy. Above all, this was a warning to set our house in order. 
We are setting our house in order, the efficiency of the American navy spurred 


by promotion by selection has reached a high level. In target practice we 
lead the world, at least we believe so. Congress has felt the public pulse 
and responded with an increased navy. The great lesson of this war is the 
force of sea power — without the first navy in the world England might 
now be German — sea power with its government in the hands of trained 





The history of submarines extends over a period of three centuries or 
longer. It is one long series of failures, with here and there a few meagre 
successes, up to the time my father turned out his first successful submarine 
boat in 1877. It is difficult to tell who invented the first submarine. The 
first boat of which history makes any record was built by a Dutchman named 
Van Driebel, in 1640 — twenty years after the Pilgrims landed in New England. 
This boat was built in England, with money advanced by King James I. 
She had a rather unique ballasting system. There were a number of goat- 
skin bags placed under the deck, between two large planks. These bags, 
when filled with water, caused the boat to sink. To cause the boat to rise 
the two planks were pressed together with a windlass arrangement, forcing 
the water out, which gave the boat reserve buoyancy. It is said that on 
one occasion King James was taken for a trip from London Bridge to a point 
about a mile down stream submerged in this boat. We do not know, how- 
ever, what eventually became of her. 

The first submarine that attained any measure of success was built by 
David Bushnell, in Connecticut, during the American Revolution. Money 
was supplied by the state of Maine. The submarine was tested on Long 
Island Sound. It was a small boat, built to accommodate only one man, 
and was called the Turtle, owing to her peculiar shape. Her ballast tank 
was beneath the floor, and she carried a detachable lead keel to give reserve 
buoyancy in case of trouble. The inlet valve was beneath the operator's 
foot, and the water was expelled from the ballast tank by a hand-pump. The 
boat was propelled by a screw propeller, turned by a hand-crank. Above the 
operator's head was a screw which was to be used for attaching a torpedo to 
the bottom of the boat attacked. When the torpedo was secured by this 
screw to the bottom of the boat, the submarine made its escape. A time fuse 
attached to the torpedo would operate after the submarine had gotten clear. 
After testing the boat on Long Island Sound, Bushnell found that he could 
successfully blow up a ship in this manner. 

Bushnell, not being very strong, prevailed upon Sergeant Lee, of the 
Continental Army, to attack the British ship-of-war Eagle, then at anchor off 
Governor's Island. He filled his ballast tank and sank to what we call the 



"awash" position and slowly proceeded in the direction of the Eagle. The 
current took him out of the way, but he finally managed to get beneath the 
ship. He then proceeded to drive the screw into the planking, but every time 
he attempted it the submarine would back away because he had not sufficient 
reserve buoyancy. Had he remembered to cast loose his lead keel he would 
have overcome that difficulty. Breathing becoming difficult, he cast loose 
his torpedo and made his escape. A short time afterward the torpedo blew 
up, but it had drifted too far from the ship to do any harm. 

Next we have Robert Fulton's submarine boat, built in 1801. He tried 
to obtain money in this country to further his ideas, but met with no success. 
He went to France, where a company was organized and financed by the French 
Government. Agreement was made to the effect that for every English ship 
Fulton should destroy his company would receive a certain royalty, the 
amount of the royalty depending upon the size of the ship and the number of 
guns she carried. Fulton's boat was the same in principle as Bushnell's. 
The shape of the hull, however, was different. On the surface, instead of 
being propelled by a screw propeller, she had a collapsible mast and sail. 
The French Government soon lost interest in the submarine, however, when 
Fulton did not go out to destroy the English fleet lying outside Toulon Harbour. 
Becoming discouraged, Fulton went to England, but the British Admiralty, 
while they admitted that it was a good idea and might be useful to some 
nations, stated it would be absolutely of no use to the English navy. He 
finally came back to America, where he devoted his time and energy to the 
development of the steamboat. Before his death Fulton started work on 
another submarine, the Mute, but his death cut short the work, and it was 
never completed. 

The first German submarine, on her trial trip in 1850, collapsed in 
the harbour of Kiel. It was not built strong enough to withstand the water 
pressure at the depth the pilot tried to navigate. However, he managed to 
get the conning tower open and to come to the surface alive. The boat was 
raised in 1887, and is now in the Museum of Oceanography in Berlin. 

The Phillips boat, built on Lake Erie in 1851, was the forerunner of Simon 
Lake's. His submarine was designed with wheels to run on the bottom, and 
was intended for salvage purposes. It was propelled by steam and 
was fairly successful, but it had a shifting centre of gravity, and on that ac- 
count it was finally abandoned. 

The Confederate submarine, the Huxley, was the first submarine up 
to the time of the Russo-Japanese War that ever destroyed a battleship. She 
was constructed of boiler iron, and had a crew of eight men. Her ballasting 
system was the same as used by Bushnell. A crank-shaft ran the length of 
the boat, and the crew turned it and thus propelled her. There was an 
officer stationed in each conning tower — fore and aft. Upon the first attempt 
















































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I- ■ -" 





Copyright hy I nurnaiional Nezvs SiTvice 

Copyn^^/u by InlcTuutxonal A't-i Scr.t.f 


Tin- ii|i|Hr put lire shows three French sharpshooters; the lower, a filcof Frcneh soliliers rautionsly eiuiiini; a ireiuh. It 
will be noted that the corners of their overcoats are buttoned back out ot the way, around then bayonet scabbards 


British Red Cross stretcher-bearers are shown (above), bringing in a wounded French soldier. 

lifliru: one may sec what happens when a loaded hospital train arrives at a base. Each ambulance driver scurries 
of} to his or her own machine, to start the engine. 



Copyright by Nr.vspaper Illustration^ Ltd. 

He goes to war hilariously shouting "Are we downhearted? No!" 

Copyright by American Press Association 

Even m cMremcly iMuonitoitable situations he is able to smile as though positively enjoying himself 









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to dive, this boat was lost with her whole crew. She was in an awash 
position and had not left the dock when an excursion steamer passed setting up 
a wash which passed through an open hatch and flooded the boat. She 
was later raised and equipped with a torpedo — a boom carried forward, on 
the end of which was a small contact mine. The mine was to be exploded 
against the side of the ship attacked. Unfortunately on one of their trials 
they became entangled with some growth on the bottom, and the man-power 
of the propeller was' not sufficient to back them out. When she was found 
at the end of a week, of course the crew were all dead. Later another test 
was made, but the lieutenant in the forward conning tower stumbled and 
knocked the diving rudder control, causing the boat suddenly to dive while 
the conning tower was open, and again all hands perished. Finally, on Feb- 
ruary 17, 1863, Lieutenant Dickson, of the Confederate Navy, decided to 
attack with the Huxley the Housatonic, Union sloop-of-war, then blockading 
Charleston Harbour. He started out with eight men, and they got within a 
couple of hundred feet before they were discovered, when the sentry gave the 
alarm and fired at them. It was too close then to sheer her off, and a 
second or two later the torpedo exploded against the Housatonic and she 
went down. The Huxley went down also, because her hatchway was open. 

My father became interested in the subject of submarining when teaching 
school in Ireland in 1863. He read of the battle between the Monitor and 
the Merrimac at Hampton Roads, and he saw, of course, that the Ironclad 
had come to stay. He set about devising some weapon — something new — 
that could successfully combat an ironclad, and he finally decided that the 
submarine was the thing. He drew a plan for one at the time, but, of 
course, as is often the case with inventions, everybody thought it was non- 
sensical, and he had to abandon it. It was not until he came to Paterson, 
N.J., in 1871, that he succeeded in obtaining capital to build a small boat 
which he tried out on the Passaic River. It was designed to carry only one 
man. This boat was not armed nor fitted with a tube, and she had one great 
defect, as he found later. He had placed his diving rudders amidships in- 
stead of aft, as they should have been. His motor, which was supposed to be 
a petroleum engine, would "freeze" as soon as it got hot. He finally de- 
cided that it would be cheaper to build a new boat than to rectify the mis- 
takes in the old one, so they took out the engine and fittings and sank her 
in the Passaic River, opposite West Side Park, Paterson, N.J. 

This new boat, the Fenian Ram, was built at the foot of West Thirteenth 
Street, New York, in 1881. The money was appropriated by the Fenian 
Brotherhood. The idea was not, as some people supposed, to build a boat 
to destroy the English navy. At that time certain claims between the United 
States and England had not been definitely settled, and there was some talk 
of war. Tht Fenian Ram was to cruise in the Atlantic lane between Canada and 


England to destroy what traffic she could. She was thirty-three feet long 
and carried a crew of three men — the pilot, engineer, and gunner. She 
was propelled by a Brayden petroleum engine of 30 horsepower — the 
first successful one ever built. Beneath the floor were the ballast tanks and 
valves. There were no air flasks on this boat ; instead, two large compart- 
ments, one forward, the other aft, were used. From both the compartments 
air lanes ran to the torpedo tube forward and supplied air to the interior of 
the boat, to the engine, and to expel water from the ballast tanks. The diving 
rudders were placed aft. 

The Fenian Ram was first tried in Morris and Cummings's breakwater in 
Jersey City. The first diving tests were very successful, and proved that she 
could do everything claimed for her. A short time after her first dive a re- 
porter from the New York Sun visited my father and requested that he be al- 
lowed to inspect the interior of the boat, but permission was not granted 
so the reporter returned to New York and wrote a very elaborate article 
on the Fenian Ram, and she was ever after known by that name. The 
boat had no periscope, so it was necessary to come to the surface and then 
dive and run on dead reckoning. This was only the work of a moment, how- 
ever, as the boat was very easily handled. 

There is a rather funny incident I should like to tell in connection with the 
bow tube, the first time it was tried out. The test was made in Morris and 
Cummings's docks in Jersey City. Captain Ericsson, who designed the 
Monitor, was at that time building his destroyer, and he offered my father the 
use of two or three projectiles to make the test. My father accepted his kind 
offer, and they submerged the boat three feet to fire the first shot. The pro- 
jectile travelled thirty feet from the nose of the boat ; rose up in the air about 
forty feet; came down; buried itself in the mud, and was never found again. 
The second projectile travelled about the same distance; cleared the water; 
went over the breakwater bounding the basin ; and struck some piling on the 
end of a pier, behind which a man was sitting, fishing. Fortunately, the 
man was on the right side of the pile. Later, when they fired a different type 
of projectile from that tube, it proved very successful, and they had very 
few misses. 

In 1895 the United States Navy Department advertised for plans for sub- 
marines. Three hundred thousand dollars had been appropriated to construct 
a submarine boat built in accordance with the best designs submitted in com- 
petition. My father submitted plans which were finally accepted. This 
boat was built from the money appropriated by the Government at the time, 
and was known as the first Plunger. She was built by the Columbian Iron 
Works, Baltimore, Md., in 1894, and was propelled by steam engines. 

After the Plunger was abandoned, the Holland Company went to Mr. 
Lewis Nixon, who was at that time the proprietor of the Crescent Shipyard, 


in Elizabethport, N.J. He said that he would build a hull under certain 
conditions. My father said, "All right, go ahead," and construction was 
started in the fall of 1897. Before the work progressed very far a wealthy 
woman of New York gave us ^25,000 to defray expenses. 

This boat was launched shortly after the destruction of the battleship 
Maine, and it was pretty closely watched during that period. Her first trial 
was made on St. Patrick's Day, 1898. When they first tried to submerge, it 
was found that the boat had too much reserve buoyancy, so they took pig 
iron on board for ballast. From that time on the eyes of the world were 
concentrated on her as really the first successful submarine. 

This boat was propelled by a 50-horsepower Otto gasolene engine. When 
she was nearly completed they despaired of getting a suitable engine. 
My father happened to go to an electrical show in Madison Square Garden, 
where he saw an exhibit of an electric lighting plant for a country home. 
The generator was driven by a 50-horsepower Otto gasolene engine. He said, 
as soon as he saw the engine: "That is what I want for my boat," and he 
purchased the engine, which was placed in the Holland. In the other 
seven boats constructed for the United States Government Otto engines were 

During one of his dives in the lower New York Bay my father came near 
colhding with a lumber schooner. He came up just in time to see that he was 
pretty close, so he immediately dived fifteen or twenty feet to clear her. 
The following day a man came to see my father in his office in New York, 
and said: "You are Mr. Holland, are you not?" My father said "Yes." 
"Well," said the visitor, "I am the captain of the lumber schooner — " naming 
her and stating where she was from, and so forth — and he said : "Yesterday 
you dived under my schooner as I was coming up the Narrows and your 
boat struck the bottom of my boat and seriously damaged her copper sheathing, 
and I want to collect damages." My father repUed : "Well, if such a thing 
had been the case your copper bottom would have ripped off the top of my 
conning tower, and I would not have been here to talk to you now." 

After a dive the men lose no time in getting some fresh air, as there are all 
sorts of odours to be encountered in the interior of the boat ; and, even though 
they have a plentiful supply of air on hand, it is not as pure as the air outside. 

After the Holland had been accepted by the United States Government, a 
contract was made with the Holland Company for seven more submarines to 
be built on the same Hnes. 

At the time my father was building his first boat in the Columbian Iron 
Works, Baltimore, Md., Mr. Simon Lake was constructing his first one, about 
twenty-five feet to one side of my father's. Mr. Lake's boat was de- 
signed for salvage purposes and dived on what we call the "even keel" prin- 
ciple. Instead of having one set of diving rudders, she had two. In order 


to dive it was necessary to be moving with considerable speed and gradually 
to tip the diving rudders, or planes, as he called them. 

This was the first boat Mr. Lake built, and he did considerable salvage 
work with her around Baltimore. She was not designed as a war sub- 
marine, and he did not take up that subject until later on. 



(Associate Editor, Scientific American) 

A nation of inventors, we are at once a peaceful nation and peaceful in- 
ventors. We like to think that we are by nature inclined to turn our energies 
to making the world a better and an easier place to live in, rather than to 
elaborating instruments of death and destruction. The cotton gin, the reaper 
and its large progeny, the sewing machine, the telegraph, the telephone, the 
typewriter, the type-setting machine, the web press, the motor truck, the 
tractor — these are but a few of the more familiar examples that come to mind. 
Even in seizing and developing the inventions of others, a form of activity 
which modern invention so often takes, we show the same pacific tendency. 
Steam locomotives, electric transportation, automobiles, machine tools, the 
wireless telephone — these are some indication of the sort of field in which 
we ordinarily try to beat the European at his own game. 

And yet we are quite capable of turning our inventive genius into less 
benevolent channels, of putting it at the disposal of those who make war. 
Long before the World War was thought of, save in the wildest flights of the 
novelists and the most secret deliberations of the statesmen, Americans of 
mechanical ability and scientific inspiration were working in preparation for 
it. A survey of the modern technique of offence and defence will make clear 
America's great contribution to the accepted paraphernaHa of the war. 

First of all, the submarine. Bushnell in 1775, Fulton in 1801, built boats 
that would sink and rise again — if the occupant were born under a lucky star. 
Holland, beginning his labours in 1875, made the Twentieth Century submarine 
possible, with his idea of a boat that would dive like a fish instead of sinking 
of its own weight, hke a stone. After these men had done their work, it re- 
quired only the collateral development of the storage battery, the internal 
combustion engine, and a few other accessories to bring the thing where Ger- 
many's eagle-eyed technical scouts found it worth appropriating. In many 
of its details the fruit of German genius for minutice, the U-boat with which 
the Kaiser drove us into the war is nevertheless in its essence our own child 
come home to plague us. i 

Even the torpedo with which it executes its deadly mission is in a sense 
of American origin. For while the latest automotive Whitehead or Schwarz- 
kopf is a development of British or continental builders, the fundamental idea 
of wrecking a ship by a detonation against her hull came from Fulton — our 
extraordinary genius who was so very far ahead of the world in which he 



lived that that world could offer him facilities for adequate trial of but few 
of his ideas. And if we have not participated greatly in the final fixation of 
the torpedo mechanism, nor made any contributions to the list of high ex- 
plosives equal to those of Nobel, Abel, or the German chemists, we have always 
successfully produced our own projectiles without borrowing from foreign 
models, and we have been among the most active in warship and big gun 
design. In fact, the built-up gun originated with Dr. Woodbridge, and in 
spite of the incidents of the Crimean War the names of Stevens and Ericsson 
take precedence in the annals of armoured war craft. And while we cannot 
lay full claim to the dreadnought, the armoured cruiser, and the destroyer — the 
three types that now dominate the surface of the sea — our naval constructors 
led the way through more than one period in the evolution leading up to 
modern practice. 

The big gun problem on land is identical with that on sea ; except that in 
fighting on land it is not necessary to invent a place to stand on. Accord- 
ingly land warfare offers hardly such scope for inventive genius as does sea 
fighting; but American genius has had a fair share in developing this field 
also. In the person of Gatling we put the last touches upon the multiple 
gun which was the dream of mediaeval artillerists, and made it for the first 
time a success qualified only by the inherent defects of the idea. In Hiram 
Maxim we have at least equal claim with England to the honour of having 
created the true automatic machine gun, which uses part of the energy set 
free by each round to load and fire the next one ; and the names of Colt and 
Lewis give us a distinct preponderance in the subsequent development of this 
arm. Then, too, while a catalogue of our ordnance experts past and present 
would hardly make an interesting page, our rifles and revolvers, our cartridges, 
our ranging and sighting instruments, have not for a long time been copied 
from those of others, nor suffered from comparison with the best. 

Neither have we lagged behind in the production of devices intended pri- 
marily for peaceful purposes but available for wartime use, as a few outstand- 
ing examples drawn from widely different fields will show. The barbed wire 
used in military entanglements dates back, for all practical purposes, to the 
Glidden and Vaughan patents of 1874; and even the attempt to trace the 
bare idea down to its ultimate source brings us only upon American names. 
Again, while plenty of Europeans, from the inventor of the Daedalus legend 
down to sober-minded scientists of the present generation, have dreamed of 
flying and sought to fly, it remained for the Wrights to realize the dream and 
teach the world the art of aviation. Finally it is the Yankee genius for 
mechanical details that stands behind the machine development of the 
present age, with its great lathes and presses and drills and cutters that treat 
metal quite as nonchalantly as our forefathers treated wood, and with its 
instruments of shop precision that make possible the standardized product 


with interchangeable parts. It is this genius, in which we particularly excel, 
that makes Providence synonymous with machine tool super-excellence, that 
makes Schenectady mean all that is superior in electric apparatus, that makes 
the name of Connecticut conjure up the image of giant automatic machines 
which, in a few seconds, by continuous processes, convert blocks of raw brass 
and steel into highly complicated finished parts. In a word, it is this genius 
that makes possible the present gigantic conflict of machinery and machine 

In summary, then, it appears not only that American invention can claim 
its share of the doubtful credit for the frightful character which Twentieth 
Century warfare has assumed, but that when it turns its attention to such 
things it is quite as efficient in them as in its more accustomed field of benev- 
olent activity. Yet in spite of the imposing array of names and achieve- 
ments cited, we must recognize that we have not given to the devices of war 
the same attention they have received from European engineers and inven- 
tors, that even where we have made an outstanding contribution which has 
changed the whole scheme of warfare — a contribution like the airplane or 
the machine shop — this has usually been the result of foreign activity in seiz' 
ing upon an idea of peaceful intent and applying it to the purposes of war. 
The reason for this is not an obscure one. Europe has made a more deliber- 
ate and sustained effort to develop instruments of fighting; she has shown 
far greater ingenuity in diverting every apparently harmless innovation to war- 
like ends, simply because the grim spectre of war has always been present to 
drive her inspirations into these channels. Our ability to equal her fighting 
apparatus has always existed, but it has Iain dormant without the ever- 
present urge of hostile menace. 

The progress of the war, however, has brought that menace nearer and 
nearer to our doors. In spite of our desire to Hve at peace with other nations 
and to let them live at peace with us ; in spite of our ability to do this, proved 
by three thousand miles of undefended frontier between us and our greatest 
neighbour ; in spite of our fancied water-bound security, we have at length 
been driven unwillingly to recognize the presence of a spirit of aggression so 
strong that we must take up arms in the hope of driving it permanently off 
the face of the earth. And from the moment of taking our place in the fight- 
ing ranks we have found it necessary to put redoubled energy into the busi- 
ness of wartime invention ; for we must at once catch up with our a!lies> 
educated as they are by three years' experience, and do our share to keep ahead 
of the common enemy. 

The very fact that our inventors have been able, with their faces turned 
toward peace, to give the world such an array of war-making implements, is 
distinctly encouraging. It augurs well for their success when they address 
themselves exclusively to the problems of war. It makes us look with con- 


fidence to American invention to do its share toward bringing the war to a 
successful conclusion. 

No man can say just where opportunity to do this may be found. It is 
at least within the range of imagination to picture some new and fearful ap- 
plication of the wireless principle — some means of making electricity accom- 
plish from a distance and without wires a tithe of the destruction of which it 
is now capable under standard conditions — which will make further resist- 
ance shrivel into nothing. Or in default of this we are always privileged to 
dream of the coming of some other instrument of long-range annihilation that 
will admit of no rebuttal. But the probability of such an outcome is negli- 
gible. In the present state of science the artificial hghtning bolt is quite as 
unattainable as the long-range magnet with which thousands of our amateur 
inventors would have us go a-fishing for U-boats. The proposal of Mr. Gira- 
gossian that we employ the energy of the universe is, to put it mildly, pre- 
mature. To be sure, there is plenty of this energy; but we do not yet know 
how to catch and tame it ; and the possibility that the worthy Armenian can 
show us how is altogether too tenuous a thing to 'serve as foundation for 
hopes of ultimate victory. 

Rather we may expect American invention to settle the war, if at all, by 
what Steinitz, world's champion chess player, used to call an accumulation 
of minor advantages. If we can make our guns and those of our allies range 
a little farther than those of the Germans; if we can make our projectiles a 
little deadlier — our ranging apparatus a trifle more certain ; if we can make 
our airplane a wee bit superior in speed, armament, and general efliiciency; 
if we can keep our forces and our allies better supplied with all the parapher- 
nalia of war than the enemy troops facing them ; if we can contrive to give 
our merchantmen and our "chasers" a shade the better of the argument with 
the submarine; if, in short, we can make the equipment of the forces fighting 
the Germans just a little better in every essential feature than that of the 
Prussian hosts — then indeed victory is ours. 

The manner in which we have gone to work upon these problems is in 
itself well calculated to bring our labours to a successful issue. It has not been 
left to the individual inventor or employer of inventors to work out his own 
salvation — developing such ideas as he might happen to conceive, covering 
such ground as he might be more or less famiUar with, trying to do the things 
which some suggestion might put 'in his mind, but always in more or less pro- 
found ignorance of what others had done or had tried and failed to do, of 
what others at the moment were doing, and above all, of what needs were 
urgent and what were not. We have replaced this casual type of invention 
by a thorough mobilization of all our technical resources, and the means by 
which we have accomplished this — the Council for National Defence — is itself 
perhaps the greatest of all our inventions for making war. 


There is no space here to set forth the complexities of the organization 
and the work of the Council and its many subsidiary bodies. Enough to say 
that it, and they, draw membership from among the heads of the greatest 
businesses and the leaders in every branch of science and technology; that 
it has at its disposal, by common consent of all concerned, the entire techni- 
cal personnel and equipment of the United States; that in an advisory 
capacity it has complete direction of all things connected with the war 
except the actual fighting. Under such auspices, it is needless for the Ameri- 
can inventor to fall into the old pitfalls of futile, misdirected, and duplicated 

The Council knows every need of army, navy, and industry, whether it be 
for material, for apparatus, for processes, or for that most precious of all com- 
modities, ideas. It knows every source of supply for these things ; it is in 
closest contact with all the speciahsts in every Hne ; through it these men are 
in contact with one another. It is accordingly able to act as a gigantic clear- 
ing house, to refer every need, however technical, to the channel, however 
obscure, through which it may best be filled. The need for new ways of 
doing things, even the need for the genius who can meet an emergency by 
devising a new thing to do, is no exception. At a word from the Council, all 
the electrical wizards or all the explosives experts or all the aviation engineers 
or all the authorities on internal combustion engines, from the very top down, 
are made cognizant of a certain need, and at once set to work to meet it, in 
conference or in a long-distance collaboration that works nearly as well. Thus, 
in the fields of pure physics and chemistry alone, some two hundred problems 
have been formulated and referred to carefully selected groups of men ; and 
many of them have already been completely solved. 

As a consequence of this intimate contact between workers in the same 
and in allied fields, we have for the first time produced inventions in the de- 
signing of which manufacturing values have had from the start equal con- 
sideration with those of use. The most wonderful device in the world is 
worth comparatively little if our factories cannot make it as fast as our armies 
use it up. It would doubtless be possible for any one of a number of our in- 
ternal combustion engineers to go into the silences and, in the course of time, 
emerge with an airplane engine that would startle the world. But such an 
engine would be exclusively a sporting proposition ; its manufacture would be 
too tedious to be possible except in minimum numbers and with a maximum of 
delay. So in the present emergency we have combed the whole field of gas- 
engine experts in search of the select few whose entire training makes them 
most competent to handle the matter; we have put the designing of a new 
standard American aviation engine wholly in their hands ; and they have 
produced the Liberty Motor — a wonderfully efficient machine, and withal 
one in the making of which our own peculiar production methods can fairly 


revel, one which we can turn out, now, in multiples of a thousand rather than 
in mere multiples of one. 

The extraordinary organization of the Council for National Defence is in 
more ways than one to be recognized as having made possible this and parallel 
achievements. It is not merely that through the Council all our technical 
men, great and small, individually and, through their societies, collectively, 
have been glad to make themselves available for this work and have been put 
in a position to work with maximum effectiveness. Of equal importance is 
the fact that the work is so conducted as to free it of all commercial considera- 
tions. It has at no stage been appropriate for the workers to stop and specu- 
late as to whether the market was ready for their prospective product, whether 
this could be made and sold in sufficient quantities to pay a profit on their 
experiments, whether it was expedient to throw over just yet the invested 
capital represented by older standards. These questions and many others like 
them normally create a wide gap between the laboratory and the factory, so 
that many years may elapse between the time when we are first able to do a 
certain thing and the time when we really begin to do it — years during which 
phrases like "not on a working basis" and "not yet a commercial possibility" 
rule. But in the present case, government control and cooperation between 
workers, both raised to the nth power, have bridged the gap long before it 
was reached, and made these phrases strictly out of order. 

This point of view has dominated throughout. Our inventors have been 
mobilized to serve our mobilized industries. For we are embarking upon 
what is for us a wholly novel undertaking — that of war. We are not equipped 
for war, and we must set out to make good this deficiency. In every in- 
stance we have strained our engineering skill and inventive genius — which 
after all are, in these days, almost synonymous — to produce a machine which 
at the same time shall be preeminently usable and preeminently makable, 
one without a peer for its purpose, yet one which we can produce in any quan- 
tity which may become necessary. 

It is thus that we have attacked the problems of army transportation. 
We have not stopped with the designing of a standardized army truck which 
in durability, reliability, versatility, and adaptation to our manufacturing re- 
sources throws every predecessor into complete eclipse. We have developed 
in addition a multitude of special service units like the shoe-repair truck and 
the motorized ice factory, every one of which presented a distinct problem 
in invention, for the truck had to be modified to accommodate the plant 
which was to be installed on it, while the plant had to be modified to go on 
the truck. And then, having made our army the best motorized army in the 
world, we turned to the military railroad. We developed a special locomotive 
for army transport work in France, a locomotive which we shall shortly be 
able to produce at the unprecedented rate of thirty per day ; and we have 


at this writing just brought out a brand new type of freight car for use behind 
that engine, which, if such a thing be possible, surpasses the Liberty Motor as 
a combination of serviceability and simplicity of manufacture. Examples of 
this sort of thing could be multiplied indefinitely; let one more case suffice 
of the use of manufacturing intelligence in designing — that of our new army 
rifle. This is simply the present excellent British model, which our biggest 
arms factories are thoroughly equipped to make, but chambered for our own 
cartridge, which again we are thoroughly equipped to make. 

Doubtless some readers will have begun by now to ask impatiently when 
we are going to get to American inventions. To such it may not be out of 
place to repeat the parenthetic remark that anything which involves engineer- 
ing involves invention. It is a mistake to single out a big thing like the sub- 
marine and reserve for it the name of invention, while employing some such 
mildly commendatory term as "an ingenious device" for the little things like 
changing the shape or position of some minor part or bringing together two 
ideas that have never before been combined. The present sewing machine 
was made possible, as much by the one little idea of putting the eye in the 
point of the needle, as by any or all other things. The big thing is invariably 
an aggregation of these little things done into one. It represents a gradual 
development in which many have had a hand, a thousand inventions rather 
than one. The true invention for which one man or at most several men can 
properly claim credit is the little thing. If we wait for a war-time "inven- 
tion" of the complexity and importance of the internal combustion engine, 
for instance, it is almost certain that we shall wait in vain. 

Of course, American invention as it bears upon this war is not without 
its fair share of the items which are spectacular enough to pass for inventions 
even under this questionable viewpoint. There is the crawling tank, which 
we were inclined to credit to Mr. Holt until a steady procession of other people 
came along to show either that the Admiralty undoubtedly stole the idea 
from them or that they had it years before Mr. Holt knew anything about 
tractors. There are the wonderful inventions of Sperry — the gyroscopic com- 
pass, the gyroscopic stabilizer, the drift indicator — which have given the 
aviator a control over his movements that even the Wrights could hardly have 
imagined. There are the many achievements of our chemists — tear gas, 
bombs for night illumination, hand-grenade detonators, and — less directly 
connected with the field of battle but perhaps of far greater influence upon 
the war — the many steels and glasses and other materials which they have 
had to devise to replace, and in most cases to surpass, the items which we 
used to get from Germany. A group of nameless physicists to whom the 
problem was referred has even found a way of telephoning between two 
airplanes ; while instruments for determining the exact direction and distance 
of a source of sound have been devised in the same way. We have even 


made progress in the arts of detecting and destroying the submarine, though 
for obvious reasons no more specific statement can here be made ; for it is in | 

almost every instance possible to negative any scheme of this sort, if only the 
U-boat commander knows what to look for. 

But in spite of the wide range covered by the things of which these are | 

examples, in spite of the great value of many of the items, this field of out- 
right innovation is not the one in which American invention is at all likely 
to make its most efifective contribution toward the winning of the war. Al- 
ways reserving the bare possibility that some single dominant discovery will 
be made which will end the conflict with one irresistible stroke, it is in the 
direction of making the things which we already have easier to use, more 
effective in use, and above all in making it possible to manufacture them on 
the greatest of scales, that American invention is going to win the war. It is 
already at work winning the war, in fact ; under a centralized direction which 
fairly outdoes anything which Germany has shown us in governmental super- 
vision, it is covering the whole field of war machinery, as imperturbably and 
as relentlessly as one of its own tanks. It is working day and night to give 
us the best and the most of everything which we need to carry on a winning 



Take this powerful pair of field-glasses in your hand. They were cap- 
tured yesterday in a German dug-out and bear the famous mark of Zeiss, 
of Jena. Adjust them carefully and look well over to where dark clouds of 
shells are bursting so rapidly that they form what looks like a dense mass of 
London fog, with continuous brief and vivid flashes of explosions. That is 
Pozieres. That is how Fricourt looked and how Longueval is looking on the 
day this is penned. From behind where we sit ensconced in an old German 
trench there come, night and day, the bang and the far-travelling scream of 
British shells. It does not seem possible that any one can emerge alive from 
those bombarded villages. 

From north to south is an irregular chain of watchful observation balloons. 
High and glittering in the sunshine are planes, directed as often as not by 
boys who in happier times would be in the boats or the playing fields. Their 
heroism during the last few weeks has never been equalled, except in this war. 

The battles of the Somme are not, of course, so easily witnessed as those 
which can be seen from the heights around Verdun, but they are a great deal 
more visible and understandable than the depressing artillery duels in the 
plains and swamps of Flanders. Neither photographs nor maps give much 
real impression of the great panorama, which is, indeed, only possible for an 
onlooker to understand when accompanied by one who has witnessed the 
steady conquest of the German trenches from the beginning of the movement 
which was made on July i. What is easy to realize, and so cheering to our 
soldiers, is that we give the Germans full measure and more in the matter of 
guns and shells. A couple of hours in any place where the battles can be 
properly observed is enough for the nerves of the average civilian, for to see 
battles properly one must be well in reach of the enemy, and so when we have 
had our fill we make our way along a communication trench to where a small 
and unobtrusive motor has been hidden. 

Presently we come to the roads where one sees one of the triumphs of the 
war, the transport which brings the ammunition for the guns and the food 
for the men, a transport which has had to meet all kinds of unexpected diffi- 
culties. The last is water, for our troops are approaching a part of France 
which is as chalky and dry as our South Downs. 

Some researches with a view to placing on record the work of the British 

Red Cross Society and Order of St. John in their relations to the wonderful 



Army Medical Service in France have brought the writer into touch vpith 
almost the most splendid achievement of the war, the building up of the 
great organization that lies between the Somme and the British Isles. 

In common with other writers I have been able to visit the various theatres 
of war from time to time, and have not hesitated to criticize things that were 
obviously wrong. 

I shall here set down the miraculously changed conditions, from the point 
of view of efficiency and economy, in which we enter upon the third year of war. 

Communication being as urgent as transport, the Royal Engineers have 
seen to it that the large area of northern and northwest France in which our 
armies are operatmg has been linked up by a telephonic system unique. It 
is no mere collection of temporary wires strung from tree to tree. The poles 
and wires are in every way as good as those of the Post Office at home. The 
installation might indeed be thought to be extravagant, but cheap telephon- 
ing is notoriously bad telephoning. A breakdown of communications which 
might be caused by the fierce wind and electric storms which have happened 
so frequently in the war would spell a great inconvenience or even worse. 
An indistinct telephone is useless. And so, marching with the army, and 
linking up a thousand essential points, is a telephone service that cannot 
be bettered. To-day it would be quite possible for the Commander-in-Chief, 
if he so desired, to call up London from beyond Fricourt, for our wires are 
already in places where we saw them burying the blackened bodies of dead 
Germans, and where the sound of great guns makes it sometimes necessary 
to shout in order to make ourselves heard in a conversation. 

Every officer or head of department of importance in the British zone has 
a telephone at his hand, so that he may give and receive orders, not abso- 
lutely secret, by the quickest and most popular means of communication. 
Where necessary, the English telephones are linked up with the trunk lines 
of the French Government, for which purposes interpreters are placed in the 
exchanges. The speed of communication is remarkable. It varies, of course, 
with the amount of business, but I have seen a man call up Paris, London, and 
the seaport bases in France all within an hour. Supplementing the telephonic 
system is a telegraphic link, and there is also the wireless. The Army Signal 
Corps is to be congratulated on a fine achievement. Over and above these 
there are the motor despatch riders, some of whose experiences during the 
war have been as thrilling as those of our air boys. The noisy nuisance of our 
peace-time roads at home has been a prime factor in the prompt waging of 
war. Motor-cycles and portable telephones appear in the most out-of-the- 
way spots. Far beyond Fricourt I met these cyclists making their way in 
and out and around the shell holes. 

A few days later, when visiting one of the workshops at the base, I saw 
the wrecks of similar machines twisted and smashed out of all recognition by 


shrapnel, each speaking of an adventure, and perhaps a tragedy. The fact 
that these derehcts were being examined for possible repair is a portent of 
the rigid economy with which, on the French side of the Channel at any rate, 
and perhaps on both, the war is now being conducted. 

I am not, of course, permitted to give names of places, or numbers, or the 
names of the heads of departments, but I shall be allowed to state that the 
always-growing immensity of the army, and the workshops behind the army, 
is little understood at home, or even by those who have made frequent visits 
to the war zone. 

Mrs. Humphry Ward lately and delightfully lifted the veil a little, but 
what is required to bring home to the people of the Empire, who are so lavishly 
outpouring their blood and treasure, and also to the Allies and neutrals, is a 
continuous demonstration by skilled writers, artists, lecturers, kinematograph 
operators, and photographers. Now that we have real war news from the 
able scribes who are allowed to tell us freely and frankly what is happening, 
readers with imagination are awakening to the truth that we have a whole 
South African campaign and a complete Crimea every month. But of the 
war behind the war, the battles behind the battles, employing skilled workers 
considerably exceeding the number of the total original British Expeditionary 
Force, we have but faint glimmerings. You can understand the need of this 
vast establishment if you realize that every part of an instrument of war has 
to be accompanied to France by its own attendants, its own supplies, and its 
own transport. 

The war plane of 1916 flies upward and away with the speed and grace 
of a dragon-fly. She has been made perfect and beautiful for her flight by 
skilled expert m.echanics. When she returns after, let us hope, her conquest, 
the boys who have escorted her in the air (one of these I met was at school 
last year) hand her over again to those attendants to see if she has any rent 
in her gown or other mishap which may be speedily mended. When, there- 
fore, you see an airplane you must realize that each machine has its staff". 
Speed and efficiency being prime essentials of victory, her caretakers must be 
skilled and young. As for her supplies, there must be at hand a great quantity 
of spare parts ready to be applied instantaneously, and there must be men, in 
case of need, who can either alter or even make such parts. There must be 
those who understand her camera and its repair, her wireless and its working, 
men who have already learned the mysteries of the newest bombs, rockets, 
and machine guns. I take the airplane as an instance because of its promi- 
nence in the public eye. 

What applies to an airplane applies in other degrees to every kind of 
gun, to every form of motor or horse transport, ambulances, field kitchens, 
filters, and to a thousand articles which at first sight do not necessarily seem 
to be part of war making. 


The Army behind the Army is full of originality. It has already improved, 
on the spot, much machinery which we had thought to have attained perfec- 
tion. This is a war of machinery as well as of bravery, and among Germany's 
many blunders was her forgetfulness of the British power of quick improvisa- 
tion and organization in unexpected circumstances, which is a secret of our 
success in building up the Empire in strange lands. 

The Army behind the Army is being squeezed for men for the front. In 
some places it can legitimately bear more squeezing, and it is getting it. On 
the other hand, owing to their own burning desire or by the pressure of the 
authorities, men who in the end would have killed more Germans by the use 
of their own particular skill in the workshop have left the anvil, the tools, the 
lathe, or the foundry for the firing line. 

Our L. of C. (Lines of Communication) in France has developed to what 
must be one of the largest organizations in the world. It represents 6 per 
cent, of the whole of our forces in France. It has to deal with more spheres 
of human industry than I should be allowed to mention. Its personnel, let 
me repeat, is being revised continually by medical examinations that elimi- 
nate men fit for the trenches. The task is a delicate one. An organization 
absolutely essential to victory has at length, and after infinite labour, by pro- 
motion of the skilled and rejection of the incompetent, been set on its feet. 
We must make changes with caution. 

At various times I have observed personally the great organizations of the 
Clyde, the Tyne, of Belfast, of Woolwich, Chicago, in and about Paris, at 
St. Etienne, at the Creusot works, in Hamburg, in Essen, and at Hoechst on 
the Rhine, and I say without hesitation that, making allowances for war 
time, our lines-of-communication organization, superimposed as it is upon the 
overworked French railways and roads and in a country where there is no 
native labour to be had, is as near perfection as ever it can be. 

And I say more that, difficult as economy and war are to mate, I have on 
the occasion of this visit, and in contrast to the days of 1914, seen nothing 
wasted. In the early months of the war there was waste at home and abroad 
arising from lack of control of our national habit of spending money with 
both hands. I remember a certain French village I visited where every tiny 
mite was filling its mouth with English bread and jam. To-day there is 
enough food and a greater variety of foods than before, but there is no waste 
that is visible even to an inquisitive critic. 

Coming to the front, not only in the high commands and among regimental 
officers and along the L. of C, is a pleasing proportion of Scotch folk who, 
while generous in the giving of ambulances, are not accustomed to waste any- 
thing in war or at any other time. To-day, almost before the reek and fume 
of battle are over, almost before our own and the enemy dead are all buried, 
the Salvage Corps appears on the bloody and shell-churned scene to collect 


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"There will be trouble in the Balkans in the spring," said the Nilghai; and there had been trouble in the Balkans 
for many a day before the crime at Sarajevo precipitated the World War. Their quarrelsome dispositions long ago 
forced the men of the Balkans to become hardy campaigners, content with dry bread in the absence of cake. So this 
wounded Bulgar is satisfied with the primitive kind of transport which is available, and sighs not at all for the easy 
springs of a modern motor ambulance. 


Venizelos, Prime Minister of Greece; and General Sarrail, in 1917 commander of the Allied forces in Salonica and 
Macedonia. To Venizelos belongs the credit of forcing the abduction of King Constantine and insuring Greece's par- 
ticipation in the war on the side of the Allies. 


Above, a convoy of wagons at rest near Mustapha Pasha, during the Balkan-Turkish War 
Below, a transport train getting under way at the time of Bulgaria's mobilization for the World Wat 


and pile unused cartridge and machine-gun belts, unexploded bom"bs, old 
shell cases, damaged rifles, haversacks, steel helmets, and even old rags, which 
go to the base, and are sold at £50 a ton. It is only old bottles — which with 
old newspapers, letters, meat tins, and broken boxes are a feature of the 
battlefields — that do not appear to be worthy of salvage. 

Regarding the utilization of waste products there is as much ingenuity 
and industry along the Lines of Communication as would satisfy the direc- 
torate of the most highly over-organized German fabrik. At more than one 
place I saw over a thousand French and Belgian girls cleansing and repairing 
clothing that had come back from the front. They work and talk and sing 
with alacrity, and I witnessed the process of the patching and reconstructing 
of what looked Uke an impossible waterproof coat, all in the course of a few 
moments. Such labour saves the British nation hundreds of thousands of 
pounds, and is considered well rewarded at a wage of half-a-crown a day. 

Elsewhere I saw men using the most modern Northampton machinery 
for soling and heeling any pair of old boots that would stand the operation, 
and such footgear as was useless was not wasted, for by an ingenious con- 
trivance, invented on the spot by a young Dublin bootmaker, the upper parts 
of these boots were being converted into bootlaces by the thousand. 

In the army machine shops the waste grease is saved and the oil which 
escapes from every such establishment is ingeniously trapped and sold to 
local soapmakers at the equivalent of its present very high value. 

Since the early days of chaos and muddle we have conveyed across the 
seas machine shops and mechanics which must exceed by twice or thrice the 
total of those in a humming town like Coventry. Such factories have had 
to be manned, and manned with labour able to meet the sudden emergencies 
of war. The labour has all had to come from home. Clerks, engineers, 
fitters, mechanics, quickly settled down to the monotonous regularity of 
miHtary life and the communal existence of the barracks, huts, and tents in 
which they live. True it is that every consideration possible has been shown 
for their happiness, comfort, and amusement. They have their own excellent 
canteens, reading rooms, and places of entertainment. They are not forgotten 
by the Y. M. C. A. or by the Salvation Army and Church Army, whose work 
cannot be too highly spoken of. They are individually looked after by their 
own heads of departments with solicitude and kindness. The gramophone, 
the joy of the dug-outs, the hospitals, and the billets, is a never-ending source 
of entertainment. 

The workers are by no means unable to amuse themselves. They are 
well provided with kinematographs and frequent boxing tournaments. Gar- 
dening, too, is one of their hobbies, and from the casualty clearing stations 
at the front to the workers' huts at the bases are to be counted thousands of 
English-made gardens. The French, who know as little of us as we do of 


them, were not a little surprised to find that wherever he sojourns the British 
workman insists on making himself a garden. At a great veterinary hospital 
at one of the bases the men living a considerable distance from a town and 
away from other pastimes have planted for themselves gardens that would 
be a credit to any prosperous London suburb in peace time. 

The energy, enterprise, and spirit of the base commandants and hundreds 
of other officers along the lines of communication, their tact in their relations 
with our French friends, and their capacity for overcoming obstacles have 
response in the enthusiasm of their workers. 

Huge bakeries, the gigantic storehouses (one is the largest in the world), 
factories, and repair shops are filled with workers who are a visible contradic- 
tion of the allegations as to the alleged slackness of the British workman. 
The jealousy that exists in peace times between most army and civilian 
establishments does not seem to be known. Great soldiers introduced me 
with pride to young men who had no idea two years ago that they would 
enter upon a quasi-military life but have adapted themselves with wonderful 
facility to entirely changed conditions. Many have brought with them in- 
valuable knowledge gained in the management of great businesses at home 
and elsewhere. 

It is true, of course, that the workmen in our great French factories under- 
stand the war better than their brothers at home. They are nearer to the 
war. They live in the country invaded by the Hun. They see their French 
fellow workmen keyed up to the highest pitch in the intense desire to rid 
fair France of her despoiler. Daily they see reinforcements going to the 
front and the wounded returning home. There is a war atmosphere even in 
towns like Havre and Rouen. The war is always present. One day I saw 
a great number of captured German cannon and other booty of which we 
hear and see so little at home coming down from the front. 

The authorities in England seem to hide our German prisoners. In 
France they work, and in public, and are content with their lot, as I know 
by personal enquiry of many of them. Save for the letters " P. G." {prisonnier 
de guerre) at the back of their coats it would be difficult to realize that com- 
fortable-looking, middle-aged Landsturm Hans, with his long pipe, and young 
Fritz, with his cigarette, were prisoners at all. If it be true that there is 
congestion in the docks at home caused by lack of labour, the sooner German 
prisoners are put to work and help to shorten the war, the better. 

The war atmosphere and the patriotic keenness of the skilled mechanics 
and labour battalions in France have enabled the Commander-in-Chief, Sir 
Douglas Haig, who has personally visited the bases in hurried journeys from 
the front, to accomplish what in peace time would be the impossible. Trans- 
port alone is a miracle. The railways are so encumbered that it is frequent 
to see trains nearly a kilometre (five-eighths of a mile) in length. As one 


travels about in search of information mile-long convoys of motor-lorries 
laden with shells or food loom quickly toward one from out of the dense 
dust, and it is by this combination of rail and road that the almost impossible 
task has been achieved of keeping pace with the German strategic railways, 
which were built for the sole purpose of the quick expedition of men and 

There are complaints of delays in unloading and "turning" shipping from 
England. These are the same complaints that have been mentioned in the 
press and Parliament for many long months in regard to the delay in 
handling shipping in England. In France it is a question of labour and 
dock accommodation. The docks are being enlarged in more ports than 
one, but yet more labour must be brought from Britain if greater speed 
is required. 

We at home can help to speed up the machine if we put our backs into the 
task as is being done in France. Our motor-lorry- and other motor-makers 
could greatly facilitate the work by standardization of motor parts. I do not 
know how many types of motor vehicles are being used in France, but I counted 
more than two score. Each of these requires its own spare parts in order that 
repairs can be speedily effected, and it must always be borne in mind that 
delay in war time is fatal. There are in use no fewer than 50,000 different 
kinds of spare parts, including nuts, bolts, rivets, and screws. By proper 
cooperation between the various manufacturers these could be reduced to a 

In order to help economy all spare parts are supplied when possible from 
the salvage of machines of the same type. All this debris has to be carefully 
collected, repaired, and arranged in depots in such a manner that missing 
parts can be found instantly. The Germans use, comparatively, few types of 
motor vehicles and have, therefore, an advantage over us. 

As one of the pioneers of automobilization I should like to offer my tribute 
to all sections of the motor transport department in France, and especially to 
the economic manner in which waste has been eliminated. 

Scattered among the Army behind the Army are schools where war is 
taught by officers who have studied the art at the front. Here in vast camps 
the spectator might easily imagine that he was at the front itself. Here the 
pupils fresh from England are drilled in every form of fighting. 

There is something uncanny in the approach of a company to a communi- 
cating trench, in its vanishing under the earth, and its reappearance some 
hundreds of yards away, where clambering "over the top," to use the most 
poignant expression of the war, the soldier pupils dash forward in a vociferous 
bayonet charge. At these great reinforcement camps are gas-mask attacks, 
where pupils are passed through underground chambers, filled with real gas, 
that they may become familiarized with one of the worst curses of warfare. 


The gas itself is a subtle and at first not a very fearsome enemy, but the victim 
is apt to be overcome before he is aware of it. 

And at these miniature battlefields, all of them larger than the field of 
Waterloo, are demonstration lecturers who teach bombing, first with toy 
bombs that explode harmlessly with a slight puff, and then with the real 
Mills bombs which have a noisy and destructive effect altogether dispropor- 
tionate to their size and innocent appearance. The various types of machine 
guns are fired at ingenious targets all the day long. There are actual dug- 
outs in which pupils are interned with entrances closed while gas is profusely 
projected around them so that they may learn how to deal with the new 
weapon by spraying it and flapping it away when the entrance is uncovered 
at a given signal. Crater fighting is taught, with an actual reproduction of a 
crater, by a lusty sergeant who has seen much of the actual thing, and tells 
the men what to do with their bombs and with Germans. Such schools are 
known to exist throughout Germany, but no Prussian thoroughness can 
better these British war-training schools in France. For those who are not 
so quick in intelligence as others, there is a revival of the old awkward squad 
which is taught slowly and patiently with remarkable results. 

In the centre of one of these schools there arrived, while I was on the 
scene, a great number of German prisoners, on their way to the base. I do 
not know how many young soldiers just landed from England were being 
trained that day. Certainly many, many thousands, and I do not wonder 
that the prisoners were amazed at the spectacle before them. One of them 
frankly confessed in excellent English that his comrades were under the im- 
pression that we had no men left. 

The food supplied to these German prisoners here, as everywhere, was 
excellent and they did not hesitate to say so. Temporary baths and other 
washing arrangements were fitted up for them, they had an abundance of 
tobacco, and were just as comfortably off in their tents as our soldiers not 
actually in barracks. Their condition on arrival here, as elsewhere, was 
appalling. Imprisoned in their trenches by our barrage of fire, they had 
been deprived of many of the necessities of life for days, and on their arrival 
ate ravenously. Most of them were Prussian Guards and Bavarians, and 
the number who had the Iron Cross ribbon in their buttonholes was eloquent 
testimony to the type of enemy troops our new armies have been fighting. 

If there be loss of time and energy in the Army behind the Army it may 
be found in one or two of the clerical establishments, which might be care- 
fully modernized. In some of these departments it is said that men of mili- 
tary age are still engaged. If this be so, there is still a certain supply of 
superfluous, middle-aged, clerical labour at home that might be gradually 

There is beyond question a growing demand for, the filling up of more 


and more forms in connexion with the army. It is a disease which should 
be checked now before it becomes a hindrance to efficient working. In some 
of the clerical departments the use of modern files and indexes does not seem 
to be general, but this does not apply to all departments, for I saw many 
that were quite up to date. 

In one great branch is kept a complete record of every British soldier, 
from the hour of his arrival in France to his departure, or death. Think of 
the countless essential letters and forms that must necessarily be filled up, 
to achieve that end efficiently and with accuracy. Another department, 
which exists for the satisfaction of relatives, and possible decisions in the 
Court of Probate, keeps an exact record of the time of death and place of 
burial of every officer and private soldier in France, whether he comes from 
the British Isles or the Dominions. Such establishments necessarily demand 
the use of much clerical labour. 

It should be remembered always, in regard to such a department as that 
which follows the course of every soldier in France, that Tommy is a difficult 
person to deal with. It is more than possible that there is a considerable 
number of men who have been reported as missing and dead who are not 
missing or dead at all. One case was discovered whilst I was at a certain 
office. It was that of a soldier who had been reported missing for more than 
a year but who was found in comfortable surroundings doing duty as an army 
cook in a totally different part of the field from that in which he disappeared. 

There are countless departments of which the public knows nothing. 1 
have only space and time to deal with one more. It is that which watches 
over the recovery of the effects of dead men and officers. There are separate 
departments for each, but I saw only that affecting the men. 

The work begins on the battlefield and in the hospitals, where I saw the 
dead bodies being reverently searched. A hst is carefully made there and 
then and that list accompanies the Uttle famihar belongings which are a part 
of every man's life to one of the great bases on the Unes of communication. 
The bag is there opened by two clerks, who check it once more, securely 
fastening it, and sending it home, where it eventually reaches the next-of-kin. 
I watched the opening of one such pathetic parcel during the final checking. 
It contained a few pence, a pipe, a photo of wife and bairn, a trench ring made 
of the aluminium of an enemy fuze, a small diary, and a pouch. It was all 
the man had. 

They told me that nearly every soldier carries a souvenir. In one haver- 
sack was found a huge piece of German shell which had probably been carried 
for months. The relatives at home set great store on these treasures, and 
though the proper officials to address are those at the War Office, London, 
the people in France are often in receipt of indignant letters from relatives 
asking why this or that trifle has not been returned. 


One of them which arrived that day said, "I gave my son to the war, you 
have had him, you might at least return all his property intact. Where are 
the pair of gloves and zinc ointment he had with him ?" 

The work of collecting these last mementoes of the dead is carried out 
with promptness, care, and very kindly feeling, despite the monotony of the 
task, which begins in the morning and goes on to the evening, a task which 
is increasing daily with the size of the war. 





In our Spanish War six soldiers died from disease where one died from 
bullets. Among the first half-million Canadian troops engaged in the World 
War, twenty died from bullets where one died from disease. This much 
progress has been made by the military branch of medical science, during the 
past twenty years. 

And General Gorgas gives us to understand that our army surgeons may 
confideiitiy hope to equal or surpass the splendid record of their Canadian 
br2thren. He says : 

"The health of the troops has been preserved by all the nations- now at 
war. We of the United States look forward confidently to being able to do 
the same thing. No doubt the statistics of casualties in the English armies 
make as good a showing on the score of deaths from sickness as do those of 
Canada. France can tell the same story, except for the unfortunate preva- 
lence of tuberculosis among large numbers of her men, due to conditions that 
were peculiar to France at the outset of the war. She had no time to pick 
and choose her men with reference to their physical fitness for war. She was 
invaded and overrun and had to defend herself as best she could from the 
very first day. Her own life was at stake, and she had to act quickly with- 
out satisfying herself as to the health of every individual recruit, as was done 
in England and Canada, and as we are doing here in the United States. So 
there is no reflection on the humanity or intelligence of the medical officers 
of the French armies in the presence of tuberculosis among French soldiers. 

"France is now doing her best to remedy the results of that early, neces- 
sary haste by removing all soldiers afflicted with tuberculosis as fast as they 
can be found. I do not pretend to give figures accurately, but, as I recall it, 
Dr. Hermann M. Biggs of New York has told me that 150,000 French sol- 
diers have been withdrawn from the army already for this cause, and of about 
50,000 French prisoners of war sent home from Germany, too ill to be of any 

further military use to their country, practically all had tuberculosis. 

J 25 


"But, apart from this matter of tuberculosis, the health statistics of the 
troops fighting in France and Flanders is excellent and can be kept so. I do 
not know so much about the Russian armies, but would hardly expect such 
thoroughgoing sanitation there as elsewhere. Nevertheless, the Russian 
troops managed to keep remarkably well during their war with Japan. The 
German soldiers also have surgeons who well know how to keep disease out 
of the ranks." 

The only exceptions to the general rule of good health in the armies now 
engaged, said General Gorgas, has been in Serbia and GaUipoli. The cam- 
paign in GaUipoli was abandoned largely because about one hundred thou- 
sand men had been removed from the fighting force on account of disease. 
And in Serbia typhus played havoc among the men until their leaders were 
taught by the medical officers that getting rid of typhus was simply a matter 
of cleanliness and freedom from vermin. 

Pediculosis is a word which most laymen fail to comprehend, but the con- 
ditions of trench warfare will soon cause our soldiers to become familiar with 
its unpleasant Anglo-Saxon equivalent. 

When General Gorgas was asked if the present proportion between deaths 
from sickness and deaths fromiwounds was due entirely to the advance in 
medicine or to the greater slaughter of the guns, he replied : "I think it is en- 
tirely due to the improvement in sanitation and preventive medicine. I 
doubt if the killing with weapons, although unprecedented in actual numbers, 
is as great in proportion to number of men engaged as has been the case in 
some previous wars. For example, take our battle of Gettysburg. One- 
third of all the men who went into that battle were left on the field. There 
has been no such proportionate loss as that in any of the big battles of the 
present war, and they are of much longer duration. Also take the casualty 
figures from Canada. They show, roughly speaking, that Canada in three 
years lost not quite one man in five, counting sick, dead, and wounded. 
But Grant, in the course of three months in his advance from the Rappa- 
hannock to the James, from Fredericksburg to Petersburg, lost six out of five. 
Yes, actually, six out of five. 

"Grant started with 150,000 men, but he had 200,000 casualties, counting 
the deaths and wounds of the original force and the reinforcements which 
joined it on the way from river to river. 

"But to return to the matter of health, it is not too much to say that the 
safety and welfare of the men who fight the battles are due to the vast 
improvement in sanitation and to the discoveries of preventive medicine dur- 
ing the last two decades. There is an extraordinary difference between the 
medical preparedness of the American army to-day and that which existed 
at the time of our Spanish War in 1898." 

The following statistics showing the deplorable conditions of that Spanish 


War were obtained from Major Robert E. Noble of the Surgeon-General's 
Corps : 

"For four months in 1898 a volunteer division was camped at Jackson- 
ville, Fla. This division, with a mean strength of 10,759 men, had 1,729 
cases of positive typhoid fever and 964 cases of fever, probably typhoid, with 
248 deaths from this one disease and 281 deaths from all other illness — a total 
of 529 deaths from disease in four months in a division of less than 1 1,000 men, 
an annual death rate of 147.5 P^^ i>ooo; and for diseases other than typhoid 
the death rate was 78.3 per 1,000 per annum. Contrast this with the division 
of the regular army encamped in 191 1 for the same length of time at San 
Antonio, Texas. This division, with a mean strength of 12,801 men, had 
one mild case of typhoid fever and but eleven deaths from all other illness : 
a death rate of 2.58 per 1,000 per annum; a rate one-thirtieth of the death 
rate at the Jacksonville camp for diseases other than typhoid. These camps 
were in the same latitude for the same length of time, and each was supplied 
with artesian water. I wish by this comparison to illustrate one point, and 
that is that in Texas the medical officers were trained officers." 

The regular establishment of medical officers in our armies are specially 
trained and exceedingly competent men. But there are far too few of them, 
and it is no easy task to get others who are equally good. 

To revert to the interview with Major-General Gorgas : He called atten- 
tion to the fact that all the old terrors of the army had been forced to sur- 
render to science. Typhoid, which used to be the worst scourge of troops, 
is now eliminated by vaccine, and the same is true of various lesser diseases. 
The freedom from dysentery is now known to be merely such an intelligent 
handling of the water supply as is a part of the A B C of army sanitation. 
Measles, scarlet fever, and the other diseases which come to large camps, as 
surely as to public schools, are robbed of their terrors by the methods of 
quarantine now in force in the armies. So simple is the explanation of why 
only one out of 411 Canadian soldiers has died of disease in nearly three years. 

The General's concluding remarks are decidedly reassuring : 

"I think," he said, "that the men who serve in this war and who escape 
wounds will be, on the whole, in better physical condition when they come 
out than when they went into the army. I think this in spite of the hard- 
ships peculiar to trench warfare or incidental to a great emergency, because 
of the hfe of the men in the open air and their scientifically selected, whole- 
some food. 

"Also, the farther we can keep alcohol from the soldiers, the better it will 
be for them and for the countries they serve. I am in favour of eliminating 
alcohol from the army altogether." 




Terrorism is a principle made necessary by military considerations. 

— General Von Hartmann. 

Every American who has passed through France and the edge of Belgium 
this year [1917] has returned home a permanently saddened man. The 
cruelty of Germany and the agony of Belgium and France cut a bloody 
gash in one's heart, and there is no Dakin solution that can heal the wound. 

Do you know of the iron token which is given to each German soldier .? 
At the top is a German portrait of Deity, and underneath are these words : 
"The good old German God." To encourage the German soldier to cruelty 
and atrocity against Belgians and French, the Deity holds a weapon in his 
right hand, and to dull his conscience and steel his heart to murder, the token 
bears these words: "Smite your enemy dead. You will be asked no ques- 
tions on the Day of Judgment." 

Long ago Goethe said : "The Prussian is naturally cruel; civilization will 
intensify that cruelty and make him a savage." The German atrocities of 
the last three years demonstrate the truth of Goethe's words. 

For three years German-Americans have protested that the stories of Ger- 
man atrocities were to be disbelieved as English inventions, Belgian lies and 
French hypocrisies ; but the day of doubt has gone by forever. When the 
representatives of the nations assemble for the final settlement, there will be 
laid before them affidavits, photographs, and other legal proofs that to-day 
make the German atrocities far better established than the scalpings of the 
Sioux Indians on our Western frontier, the atrocities of the Black Hole of 
Calcutta, or the crimes of the Spanish Inquisition. 

On a battle front three hundred miles in length, whenever the Germans have 
retreated, accredited men have at once entered against the Day of Judgment 
a record of what the German armies leave behind them. Photographs of 
dead and mutilated girls, children, and old men tell no lies. Jurists rank 
high two forms of testimony : what mature, responsible men swear they have 
seen and heard, and the narratives of children too innocent to invent their 
statements, but old enough to tell what they saw. 

The cold catalogueof German atrocities now documented and in the govern- 
ment archives of the different nations makes up the most sickening page in 
history. Days spent upon the records preserved in southern Belgium and 
northern France, days spent in the ruined villages of Alsace and Lorraine, 



leave one nauseated — physically and mentally. It is one long, black series 
of legally documented atrocities. 

Every pledge that Germany signed at the Hague Convention, as to safe 
guarding the Red Cross, hospitals, cathedrals, libraries, women and children, 
and unarmed citizens — all these have been violated again and again. 

These atrocities were committed not in a mood of drunkenness, nor an 
hour of anger, but were organized by German "efficiency" and perpetrated 
to carry out a deliberate, cold, precise, scientific policy of frightfulness. It 
is not simply that they have looted factories, carried away machinery, robbed 
houses, bombed every granary, left no plough nor reaper, chopped down every 
pear tree and plum tree, with every grape vine, and poisoned all wells ! The 
Germans also have slaughtered old men and matrons, mutilated captives 
in ways that can only be spoken of by men in whispers ; violated little girls 
until they were dead. Finding a calfskin nailed upon a barn door to be dried, 
they nailed a babe beside it and wrote beneath the word "Zwei." 

No one understands the German people as well as the Kaiser. Our Presi- 
dent, in a spirit of magnanimity, patience, and good will, distinguished be- 
tween the Kaiser and the Prussian Government, and over against them put 
the German people. But Germany's Chambers of Commerce, Hamburg's 
Board of Trade, and certain popular assemblies, would have none of this and 
passed resolutions, saying: "What our Government is, we are. Their acts 
are our acts. Their deeds and military plans are our plans." 

Knowing his people through and through, the Kaiser called his soldiers 
before him and gave them this charge: "Make yourselves more frightful 
than the Huns under Attila. See that for a thousand years no enemy men- 
tions the very name of 'Germany' without shuddering." 

Why then do the German people say they feel hurt when people call them 
"Huns" and "barbarians"? Who named them Huns? Their Kaiser. 
Who christened them barbarians ? Their Kaiser. Who hkened their sol- 
diers to bloodhounds held upon the leash, longing to tear their French and 
Belgian prey? The Kaiser said, "I baptize thee 'Hun' and 'barbarian.'" 
Let the Kaiser's words stand : "For a thousand years no man shall speak 
the word 'Hun' without shuddering." 


All wise men trace deeds, wicked or good, back to the philosophic thinking 
of the doer, just as they trace bitter water back to a poisoned spring. What 
the individual thinks in his heart, that he does in the life. Judas thinks in 
terms of avarice and greed, and his philosophy results in treason and murder. 
The Kaiser, Nietzsche, Von Bethmann-Hollweg, Von Bissing, and Plauss, 
think and teach the theory of iron force, the right of big Germany to loot little 
Belgium or northern France, and drill peoples in the behef that Germany's 


right is the right of the lion over the lamb, and that no questions will be asked 
by a German God on the Day of Judgment. 

The originator of this World War was the Kaiser ; Treitschke was its his- 
torian; Nietzsche its philosopher; Von Bissing and Von Hindenburg its 
executives. The murder of Edith Cavell and of hundreds of women and 
children on the Lusitania, the rape of Belgium, the assassination of northern 
France, were the outer exhibition in deeds of the inner philosophy of force. 
Their great master whom they celebrate and never tire of praising — ^Nietzsche 
— judges Germany aright. On page 38, in his "Ecce Homo," he says: 
"Wherever Germany extends her sway, she ruins culture." On page 124 
of the same volume he says: "I feel it my duty to tell the Germans that 
every crime against culture lies on their conscience." By "culture" Nietzsche 
means painting, sculpture, cathedrals, international laws, the Athenian sweet- 
ness, reasonableness, and light. Germany's God should be a super-Hercules 
or Goliath, with his club. 

Bethmann-HoUweg sent out the following statement to the world, as to 
whythe Kaiser and himself counted an international treaty a "scrap of paper." 
He said : 

"As to Belgium — we are now in a state of necessity, and necessity knows 
no law. The wrong — I speak openly — that we are committing, we will en- 
deavour to make good as soon as our military goal has been reached. We 
have now only one thought — how to hack our way through." 

So the international burglar's excuse is that he must hack his way through 
the neighbour's house and kill his family, because that house stands between 
himself and the Frenchman's vault whose gold he wants to steal ! 

When the German army in Lorraine was defeated it retreated northward, 
passing through French towns and villages where there were no Frenchmen, 
no guns, and where no shots were fired. During July and August we went 
slowly from one ruined town to another, talking with the women and children, 
and comparing the photographs and the official records made at the time with 
the statements of the survivors, who lived in cellars where once there had been 
beautiful houses, orchards, vineyards. In Gerbeviller, standing beside their 
graves, I studied the photograph of the bodies of fifteen old men whom the 
Germans lined up and shot because there were no young soldiers to kill. I 
heard the detailed story of a woman whose son was first hung to a pear tree 
in the garden. When the officer and soldiers had left him and were busy set- 
ting fire to the next house, she cut the rope and revived the strangled youth 
only to find the soldiers had returned. Then, while the officer held her hands 
behind her back, his assistant poured petrol on her son's head and clothes, 
set fire to him, and while he staggered about, a flaming torch, they all shrieked 
with laughter. 

When they had burned all the houses and retreated, the prefect of Lor- 


raine visited that Gethsemane and photographed the bodies of aged men lying 
as they fell, the bodies of women stripped and at last slain. 

In the next village stood the ruined belfry into which the Germans had 
lifted machine guns, then forced every woman and child — 275 in number — • 
into the little church, and notified the French soldiers that if they fired upon 
the machine guns, they would kill their own women and children. After 
several days' hunger and thirst, at midnight, the women slipped a Httle boy 
through the church window, and bade their husbands fire upon the Germans 
in the belfry, saying they preferred death to the indignities they were suffer- 
ing. And so the Frenchmen turned their guns, and in blowing that machine 
gun out of the belfry killed twenty of their own wives and children. 

In a hundred years of history, where shall you find a record of any other 
race, who, calling themselves civilized, are such sneaking cowards that they 
cannot fight like men or play the game fairly, but put women and little chil- 
dren before them as a shield I 

The records of more than a thousand individual atrocities rest in the ar- 
chives of France against the day of reckoning. There are countless letters 
and diaries taken from the bodies of dead German soldiers. Out of the large 
number, note the following : 

Notebook of Private Max Thomas: "Our soldiers are so excited, we are 
like wild beasts. To-day, destroyed eight houses, with their inmates. Bayo- 
neted two men with their wives and a girl of eighteen. The little one 
almost unnerved me, so innocent was her expression." 

Diary of Eitel Anders: "In Vendre all the inhabitants without exception 
were brought out and shot. This shooting was heartbreaking as they all 
knelt down and prayed. It is real sport, yet it was terrible to watch. At 
Haecht I saw the dead body of a young girl nailed to the outside door of a 
cottage, by her hands. She was about fourteen or sixteen years old." 

In retreating from Malines eight drunken soldiers were marching through 
the street. A little child of two years came out and a soldier skewered the 
child on his bayonet, and carried it away while his comrades sang. 

Withdrawing from Hofstade, in addition to other atrocities, the Germans 
cut off both hands of a boy of sixteen. At the inquest affidavits were taken 
from twenty-five witnesses, who saw the boy before he died or just afterward. 

On August 27th, General Von Lieber gave out this proclamation. "The 
town of Waevre will be set on fire and destroyed, without distinction of per- 
sons. The innocent will suffer with the guilty." After this town was de- 
stroyed and all the inhabitants killed, in the diary of a soldier slain on the 
retreat, we find this page: "We lived gorgeously. Two or three bottles of 
champagne at each meal. All the girls we want. It is fine sport." 

Are we surprised that many of the letters and journals taken from the 
bodies of Germans quote General Von Hartmann's sentence, "Terrorism is 


a principle made necessary by military considerations"? German-American 
objections that these towns were destroyed because the inhabitants had fired 
upon the invading army from the windows of their houses is conclusively met 
and answered by another letter written by a German officer to his wife. "On 
approaching a village a soldier is sent on in advance to insert a Belgian rifle 
in the cellar window or stable, and of course when this weapon is found we 
take it to the Burgomaster, and then the sport begins." 

That all these atrocities were carefully planned in advance for terrorizing 
the people is proven by the fact that in one instance the officers who had re- 
ceived great kindness from a notary's wife, warned her to make her escape 
immediately, as the looting and kiUing of all the citizens, men, women, and 
children, were about to begin. 

These records could be multiplied by thousands. Upon the retreat from 
one city alone, inquests were held upon the bodies of over six hundred victims, 
including very aged men and women, and babes unborn. It is the logical 
result of the charge of the Kaiser to his army : "Give no quarter and take no 

The general staff of the German army pubhshed a manual several years 
before they began this war. They explicitly charged their soldiers to break 
the will of the enemy, by cruelty. Witness this passage from the War Manual 
on page 52 : "A war is conducted with energy merely against the combatants 
of the enemy states and the positions they occupy, but it will and must in like 
manner seek to destroy the total intellectual and material resources of the 

And witness this injunction to atrocity on page 35 : — "By steeping him- 
self in military history, an officer will be able to guard himself against exces- 
sive humanitarianism. It will teach him that certain severities are indis- 
pensable to war. Humanitarian claims, such as the protection of men and 
their goods, can only be taken into consideration in so far as the nature and 
object of the war permit." 

On a little board in one ruined village, I read these words : "Marie. Aged 
sixteen. Dead August 24, 191 5. Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the 

Germany's university professors 

The glory of every great city and country is its scholars, with their love of 
truth, and their stainless lives. The world has its liberty, its science, and its 
law at the hands of heroes who preferred the truth above life. Intellectual 
leaders of men have been crucified in Jerusalem, poisoned in Athens, tortured 
in Ephesus, exiled in Florence, burned at the stake in Oxford, assassinated 
in Washington. But the iron autocracy and militarism of Germany debauched 
even her university men. 


Ninety-three of her foremost professors signed a statement saying: "It 
is not true that we wronged Belgium." In the Kaiser's address that he him- 
self has pubhshed, he says: "Give no quarter, take no prisoners. Let all 
who fall into your hands be at your mercy. Make yourself as terrible as the 
Huns." But the professors signed a statement saying: "It is not true that 
our soldiers ever injured the life of a single Belgian." Socrates or Dante, 
Savonarola or Milton, Victor Hugo or Lincoln, would have died a thousand 
deaths by faggots, or upon the rack, rather than have signed their names to 
such lies. It makes every university professor ashamed of his calling. Think 
of Harnack and Eucken, with their moral cowardice and their intellectual 
impotency 1 Plainly that is what Nietzsche meant when he said (page 134, 
"Ecce Homo"), "Every crime against culture that has been committed for 
a hundred years rests upon Germany." 

Two English officers and a young French captain were recounting their 
experiences. In saying the farewells before each man went out to his place 
in the trenches to look after his men, one of the Englishmen exclaimed : "Next 
week at this time I shall be home. Five more days and my week's leave of 
absence comes." Then, suddenly remembering that the French captain 
had been there a long time, he asked when he was going home. To which 
this low answer: "I have no home. You men do not understand. Your 
English village has never been invaded. . . . When the Germans left my 
little town, they destroyed everything. My wife and my little daughter are 

both expecting babies within a few weeks. I — I — I " and the storm 

broke. The two Englishmen fled into the wet and the night, knowing that 
there was a night that was blacker, that rain was nothing against those 
tears ; for all his hopes of the future were dead. His only task was to re- 
cover France and transfer all his ambitions to God in Heaven. That is why 
there will be no inconclusive peace. 

Whether this war goes on one year or five years or ten years, it will go on 
until Frenchmen and Belgians are on German soil. Nor will the German 
ever realize the wickedness of his own atrocities and the crimes of militarism 
until he sees the horrors of war with his own eyes, hears the groans of his own 
family, and sees his own land laid desolate. We may believe that vengeance 
belongs unto God, and we may argue and plead for forgiveness ; but it will 
not avail. The dam that held back the black waters has broken and it is 
the German who dynamited that dam and released the flood of destruction. 
Whether it takes another summer or many, there is no British nor Canadian 
officer, no French nor Belgian soldier, whose face does not turn to granite 
and steel when you suggest that he will not walk down the streets of Berlin 
and institute a military court, and try a Kaiser and his staff" for murder. That 
is one of the things that are settled, and about which discussion is not per- 
mitted by our allies' soldiers. 



One of the savageries that have horrified the civilized world has been the 
wanton destruction of cathedrals. Germany has been denied the gift of 
imagination. It belongs to France, to Italy, and to Greece. Heinrich Heine, 
her own poet, said that Germany appreciates architecture so little that it is 
only a question of time when "with his giant hammer, Thor will at last 
spring up again and shatter to bits all Gothic cathedrals." This gifted 
Hebrew had the vision that literally saw the Germans pounding to pieces 
the cathedrals at Louvain and Ypres, in Arras, in Bapaume, in St. Quentin^ 
and Rheims. The German mind is a hearty, mediocre mind, that can multiply 
and exploit the inventions and discoveries of the other races. The Ger- 
mans contributed practically nothing to the invention of [the locomotive, 
the steamboat, the telegraph and telephone, the' automobile, the airplane, 
the phonograph, the sewing machine, the reaper, the electric light. Ameri- 
cans invented for Germany her revolver, her machine gun, her turreted ship, 
her torpedo, and her submarine. In retrospect it seems strange that Ger- 
many could have been so helplessly and hopelessly unequal to the invention 
even of the tools that have made her frightful. It is Germany's lack of 
imagination that explains Nietzsche's statement that for two hundred years 
Germany has been the enemy of culture, while Heinrich Heine declared the 
very name of culture was France. 

It is this lack of mental capacity to appreciate beauty that explains Ger- 
many's destruction of some of the noblest buildings of the world. She can- 
not by any chance conceive how other races look upon her vandalism. Her 
own government expressed it publicly in one of its subsidized newspapers : 
"Let the neutrals cease chattering about cathedrals; Germany does not care 
one straw if all the galleries and churches in the world are destroyed, provided 
we gain our ends." 

Guizot, in his historyof civilization, presents three tests of a civilized people : 
First, they revere their pledges and honour; second, they reverence and pur- 
sue the beautiful in painting, architecture, and literature; third, they exhibit 
sympathy in reform toward the poor, the weak, and the unfortunate. ■ 

Consider Rheims Cathedral. No building since the Parthenon was more 
precious to the world's culture. What majesty and dignity in the lines ! 
What a wealth of statuary ! How wonderful the Twelfth Century glass ! 
With what lightness did the arches leap into the air ! 

Now, the bombs have torn great holes through the roof; only Httle bits 
of glass remain. Broken are the arches, ruined the flying buttresses. The 
altar where Jeanne d'Arc stood at the crowning of Charles is quite gone. The 
great library, the bishop's palace, all the art treasures are in ruin. 

Ancient and noble buildings do not belong to a race, they belong to the 
world. Sacred for ever the threshold of the Parthenon, once pressed by the 

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Above; a Serbian Field Hospital on the Serbo-Bulgarian frontier. 
Centre; the Serbian supplv-trains, assembled in the market place at Prokuplle. 

Below; at Ipek, where the'road ended. Guns and wheeled vehicles could go no farther, and were abandoned at this 
point. Everything burnable was set ablaze. 


Above; the straggling line of men that was once an army, trudging along a snowy mountain defile. 

Centre; Rugovo Pass and the remnant that endured thus far. 

Below; a straggler, abandoned in the heart of the mountains by comrades powerless to aid him. 


The marvel was, not the number of Serbians who perished, but the number who escaped. Many thousands actually 
got away to Corfu and on that island was assembled all that was left of independent Serbia. The fate of Belgium had 
overtaken another little people. King Peter, like King Albert, had waited in vain for his allies. The loss of Belgium 
was inevitable, but the Serbian tragedy was the more terrible because it was unnecessary. 


With a hog for company, this Serbian soldier seeks to appease the pangs of hunger by picking up grains of barley from 

the bare ground 



A Serbian officer, on the beach at Corfu, stares out across the sea toward his lost country 


feet of Socrates and Plato ! Thrice sacred that aisle of Santa Croce in Flor- 
ence, dear to Dante and Savonarola ! To be treasured forever, the solemn 
beauty of Westminster Abbey, holding the dust of men of supreme genius. 

In front of the wreck of the Cathedral of Rheims, all blackened with Ger- 
man fire, broken with the German hammer, is the statue of Jeanne d'Arc. 
There she stands, immortal, guiding the steed of the sun with the left hand, 
lifting the banners of peace and liberty with the right. By some strange 
chance, no bomb has injured that bronze. Oh, beautiful emblem of the day 
when the spirit of liberty, riding in a chariot of the sun, shall guide a great 
host made up of all the peoples who revere the treasures of art and archi- 
tecture, and law and liberty, and Christ's poor, and shall ride on to a victory 
that will be the sublimest conquest in the annals of time. 

Our allies stand over against the greatest military machine that was ever 
forged, and controlled by merciless and cruel men — men who have given 
up all faith in God, who practise the Ten Commandments with the "not" 
left out, who have stamped out of the souls of their soldiers every instinct of 
pity and sympathy. Here is Belgium, after all her agony, ready to die to 
the last man rather than submit to the Kaiser. And here is England, and all 
her colonies. How glorious this land ! "The land of such dear souls, this 
dear, dear land," as Shakespeare said. She has already given to the Cause 
one-third of her total wealth, a million of her sons. And here is France, not 
bled white, but tired after three years of grievous toil. Her bankers are tired, 
her business men are tired, the women and the little children are tired, for 
they have sweated blood in this struggle against the cruel demon of militarism. 


But soon or late, an unseen Providence will take off the wheels from the 
chariot of the Enemies of Truth and Justice. The dying German officer in 
Roye packed the genius of a moral universe into a few words. Wounded 
last winter through the spinal cord, unable to move the lower part of his body, 
for weeks he waited for death. Two aged Frenchwomen cared for the dying 
man. Little by little the wings of the Angel of Death fanned away the mist 
before his eyes. One day this German officer sent for the village priest and 
told him that the Von Hindenburg Hne was nearly complete, that the order 
to retreat had been given, that the home of these aged women who had cared 
for him so tenderly would be burned, that not one church, house, barn, vine- 
yard, or orchard would be left. The news crushed the old priest. In his 
dying hour a righteous wrath had filled the heart of the German prisoner. 
These are his last words, as I transcribed them from the lips of that man of 
God, standing one day in Noyon : "Curses upon this army! Curses upon 
our Kaiser and his War Staff! Ten thousand curses upon my country! 
Either God is dead, or Germany is doomed !" The officer had come to under- 


stand that soon or late the wheels of God will grind to nothingness those 
who wrong God's children. 

Better days are coming. We, too, may have to enter the Valley of the 
Shadow, but soon or late the pilgrim host will enter the Promised Land and 
hang out the signals of victory. Truth is stronger than error; liberty is 
stronger than despotism; God is stronger than Satan; right makes might 
and must prevail. 

During the January snows, a dear friend and noble surgeon, at the head 
of a hospital at the front, wrote me a letter which stays my heart as the anchor 
the ship in time of storm. The ground was deep with snow, many wounded 
men had been carried in from the front, but at midnight, when his work was 
done, the physician wrote me this letter : 

This war is of God. Sometimes it is peace that is hell. The soldier's life is one of 
pov.^rty, obedience, self-sacrifice. 

But for the chastisement of this war, Berlin and Vienna, London and Paris, would have 
descended into hell within three generations. I once spoke in old Plymouth Church on the 
blessings of peace; if ever again I have that privilege, I will speak on the blessings of war. I 
never dreamed that men could be so noble. 

For three months I have slept on stones; for three months before that in a tent. For 
six months I have not been in a bed ; but I have never been so happy. I have acquired the 
fine freedom of a dog, and like a dog I wear a metal tag around my neck so that they may 
know to whom I belong when it happens that I can no longer speak. 

Never was man engaged in a cause so noble. I have seen Belgium ; I have seen a lamb 
torn by the wolf; I am on the side of the lamb. I know the explanations the wolf has to 
offer, but — they do not interest me. 

I only wish that you were here with me at this battle for your own good ; for right here 
at this western front this war will be decided, just where all the great wars of history have 
always been decided. It is decided already, but it will take the enemy some time yet to find 
it out. 


What does this noble scholar mean .? History makes that meaning plain ! 
No wine until the purple clusters are crushed. No linen until the flax is 
bleeding and broken. No redemption without shedding of blood. No rich 
soil for men's bread until the rocks are ploughed with ice glaciers and subdued 
with fire billows. This war was not brought by God, but having come, let 
us beheve that His providence can overrule it for the destruction of all war. 
When Germany is beaten to her knees, becomes repentant, offers to make 
restitution for her crimes, then and not till then can this war stop. 

At all costs and hazards we must fight through to a successful issue. 
Our children must not be made to walk in future years through all this 
blood and muck. The burden of militarism must be lifted from the 
shoulders of God's poor. Any state that will not for ever give up war must 
be put away, into outer darkness. 

Geologists tell us that the harbour of Naples, protected by islands, wa: 


once the crater of a volcano like unto Vesuvius ; but that God depressed that 
smoking basin until the life-giving waters of the Mediterranean streamed 
in and put out that fire. Oh, beautiful emblem of a new era, when God will 
depress every battlefield and every dreadnought and bring in the life-giving 
waters of peace ! Then will come a golden age, the Parliament of Mankind, 
the Federation of the World, a little international navy policing the seas, 
a little international army policing the land, a great international court 
deciding disputes — yes, even between Germany and France. To this pur- 
pose, let our sons dedicate themselves. To the end that we may achieve a 
just and lasting peace, between ourselves and all nations. 

Let us will strongly, and declare our will to him whom men call "the 
Kaiser": "You shall not crush the hopes of Abraham Lincoln. You shall 
not grind mankind beneath the iron heel of militarism. You shall not make 
government of the people, for the people, by the people, now or ever, to perish 
from the earth." 



France is used to colonies. She has held foreign possessions since the 
days of Henri IV. Richelieu, Colbert, and even Louis XV had their share 
m building up this domain. In the French dominion were once included 
Canada, Southern India, Louisiana, then as large as ten of the United States, 
the lovely Httle San Domingo, Mauritius, lie de la Reunion, and the Antilles; 
as well as numerous trading posts in Africa and trading rights in Asia. 

In 1750 it was uncertain whether France or England would be the great 
colonial power of the future. Throughout all her colonial possessions France 
had shown herself a mistress of the difficult art of government. Represent- 
atives of her various social classes were sent to the foreign states and a vigor- 
ous and prohfic society gradually grew up, in the image of ancient France 
itself. Labourers, artisans, and nobles all had their share in these communities. 
The population of Canada alone increased from 11,000 in 171 1 to 63,000 at 
the Treaty of Paris in 1763. To-day this same population numbers three 
million and a half descendants. San Domingo and the Antilles contained 
sixty thousand French inhabitants ; Mauritius and lie de la Reunion, thirty 
thousand. They developed markets and plantations which, at the end of 
the Eighteenth Century, reached a value of six hundred million francs in 
the currency of the day. 

But, during the second part of the Eighteenth Century, France lost the 
greater part of her possessions and forgot her abihty to rule. This was not 
because of incompetence but rather because of her European ambitions, the 
weakness of her rulers, her too-generous political theories, and the unen- 
lightened state of public opinion throughout the nation. By the Treaty of 
Paris, Louis XV ignominiously ceded India and Canada; the Revolution and 
the theory of equality brought about the rebellion and finally the emancipa- 
tion of San Domingo ; Napoleon sold Louisiana, doubtful of his ability to 
retain it. Thus, in 181 5, France, the former proprietor of immense and 
immeasurable estates, found herself reduced to a few insignificant posses- 
sions — a few islands and strips of land on three continents — which seemed to 
promise little for the future. France had in short become an almost ex- 
clusively continental power. 

At this time she seemed to have Httle interest in anything outside Europe, 
least of all in her colonies. She was now represented only by a few wander- 
ing sailors seeking adventure, and a few missionaries seeking converts, instead 



of by her former settlements of planters and merchants. Perhaps she would 
one day regret all that she had lost. But her statesmen were hostile to any 
colonial project ; her politicians were interested only in European expansion ; 
her economists remembered with disgust her colonial enterprises ; the greater 
part of the nation was completely indifferent to the whole question. In spite 
of all this France, in 191 5, possesses a colonial empire possibly less wealthy 
than that of former days but far better suited to her needs. How has this 
come about ? 

"As one ordinarily speaks"; says M. Jourdain in Moliere's "Bourgeois 
Gentilkomme," talking to his professor, "what is that V 

"That is prose." 

"Then when I ask Nicole to bring me my slippers I am speaking prose? 
Mafoi ! Then I have been speaking prose for more than forty years without 
even knowing it." 

France for a long time, followed a colonial policy without even knowing it. 

It all began, after many years of inactivity, with the Algerian expedition. 
Did we intend to colonize Algeria .^ Not at all. It was simply a political 
expedition made in the interests of the dynasty, though theories of humanity 
and of justice were advanced to explain it. England had begun to realize 
what a power a conquered Algeria might become in our hands. France, 
frightened by the difficulties of the enterprise, hesitated for ten years before 
adopting the only obvious solution of the problem, retention and coloniza- 
tion. During 1838 and 1842 the Marquesas Islands and Gambier Islands 
were seized and placed under a protectorate. They were such unimportant 
bits of land that they could hardly be said to represent a colonial enterprise. 
At the very most they were but settlements for the convenience of the naval 

The difficulties with Morocco arose in 1844, when Marshal Bugeaud won 
a momentous victory at Isly. This victory opened to us a country where 
we needed only to continue politically the mihtary success we had achieved. 
But even the most substantial conquests held so little attraction for the 
French that instead of strengthening our hold and annexing Morocco we signed 
two treaties with her (i 844-1 845) in which we agreed to abandon that historic 
and natural frontier, the right bank of the Moulouir river. Seventy years 
later, to win back a much-diminished Morocco, we were obUged to make 
bargains with all of Europe and to humiliate ourselves before Germany. 

Our mariners seized New Caledonia in 1852, in place of a more valuable 
island, which we had lost through a political indiscretion. But New Cale- 
donia, like the Marquesas Islands, had no colonial importance. On our 
return from a Chinese expedition in 1858 we conquered a few provinces of 
Annam, purely to avenge some of our massacred missionaries. Perhaps this 
time the necessity of sustaining our prestige was not the only consideration. 


It may be that we hoped to establish settlements Hke those which the English 
have scattered along the coasts of Africa and Asia, from Europe to the Far 
East, settlements which have never ceased to impress our naval officers and 
some others. 

We have had ample opportunity for colonial expansion. The Syrian 
expedition in i860, our interests in Egypt, our influence along the Mediter- 
ranean — which we have exerted since the time of Napoleon — all these things 
would have furnished us with plenty of good reasons for colonization. Dur- 
ing the eighteen years of the Empire, France, then at the height of her power, 
could have taken possession of much territory and could have extended her 
dominion without arousing either jealousy or rivalry. But she did nothing. 
Visionary schemes filled the imagination of the King. His ministers, like 
those of Louis XV and Napoleon, were interested only in Europe. Never- 
theless, these frequent expeditions and occupations, these many conquests 
and captures, aimless and undirected though they seemed, served to bring 
back to the nation the brilliant memories of the Ancien Regime; and, after 
the war of 1870, when all our hopes of European expansion seemed at an end, 
they laid the foundations for a new system of colonization and for enterprises 
which were this time deUberately conceived and planned in advance. And 
these foundations were to lie at the very bottom of the new Empire. 


The war of 1870, whose real end and object Europe is only just beginning 
to understand, left only two alternatives to a weary but unvanquished France : 
she might follow a European policy by re-taking her lost provinces and thus 
reestablishing her prestige, or she might adopt a policy of colonial expansion 
and increase her foreign possessions. The European policy was so deeply 
rooted in the national tradition that it was almost a part of the national life. 
Then, too, it recalled brilliant memories of the past. But it was full of dangers 
and difficulties. The colonial pohcy had but few partisans. No one then 
suspected that it would eventually be the means of bringing back strength 
and power to the enfeebled State. But later some hoped that this might 
be so, when it became apparent that Germany for one would not oppose the 
project. Victorian England did not yet appreciate her own danger nor that 
of Europe under an enfeebled France. She did not, certainly, look with favor 
upon our plans for colonial expansion. But she made as yet no definite 
attempt to prevent our carrying them out. 

Our colonies at this time contained one million square kilometres ; five 
million native subjects, besides 200,000 French or naturalized citizens, scattered 
over four continents; and six hundred millions in commerce, the greater part 
of which was in the hands of foreigners. This seemed to everyone a hope- 
less foundation on which to build a national enterprise. PoUticians knew 


very little about the subject, economists prophesied that the colonies would 
only furnish new opportunities for unscrupulous capitalists, who would be far 
more eager to develop their own industries than to deal justly with the natives. 
Others were indignant that we should think of governing people without 
their consent, declaring that foreign conquests would only prepare new fields 
for selfish exploitation. Unanimously it was agreed that France, having no 
excess population, could found only weak and worthless colonies. 

If the colonial policy had few partisans in the country at large it had 
scarcely any in Parliament. The law-makers looked with disfavour upon 
expeditions which would cost both men and money. How could they 
defend such a poHcy before the electors .? Not a single justifying argu- 
ment could be drawn from past experience. It would simply be mortgaging 
the future. , 

Fortunately this policy, though but roughly formulated, attracted a few 
men of great influence both in the Chamber and in the republican party, 
such men as Gambetta, Jules Ferry, Paul Bert, Etienne. They in turn 
brought it to the attention of a few representatives of industrial interests 
of whom M. Meline was the best known. Thus the germ of a colonial party 
was organized which was later to take its place among other political parties. 
This httle group sustained many violent attacks. All this criticism — all 
these political, sentimental, and utilitarian arguments, drawn from the disas- 
trous experience of other peoples — were bandied back and forth for nearly 
twenty years before they finally crystallized into a body of favourable opinion, 
which was supported by many friendly interests. 

"Do you not see," said Gambetta, during the discussion of a credit for 
military operations in Tunis, "that people are suffocating on this old conti- 
nent ? This policy is absolutely essential for the development of our national 

"Europe," continued M. Meline, "is dividing the world. It is only just 
that we should have our share." 

"What are you going to do with your products," added M. fitienne, "if 
you cannot export them ?" 

And Jules Ferry, the loyal and faithful friend of the colonial policy, summed 
up the situation by saying that he recognized in the colonies "markets dedi- 
cated to French products — markets which are absolutely necessary in view 
of the protective measures adopted by other industrial nations." He saw 
in them, too, a great stage whereon the generosity of France would play a 
magnificent role in suppressing slavery and periodical massacres, and in educat- 
ing the subject peoples toward a higher ideal of liberty. He defined the 
colonial policy as "a legacy from the past and an investment for the future," 
and finished with these prophetic words : "To renounce this policy, to shrink 
from the duty it imposes and the effort it demands, is to abdicate completely; 


and, in a shorter time than you reahze, to sink from the rank of a first-class 
nation to that of a third- or fourth-class one." 

These words were not generally believed ; for a long time no one wished 
to believe them. (To prove this I will quote farther on one of the new idea's 
most violent antagonists, the Duke de Broglie.) The cause of the colonies 
was not definitely won until the first few years of the Twentieth Century, 
when the war of 1914, with its formidable arguments, did much to persuade 
the entire nation of their importance. 

But the Republic had not awaited this catastrophe before increasing and 
strengthening her foreign dominions. For forty years some of her politicians 
had been working toward this end. Their national responsibilities had 
given them a keener insight into the situation than was general, and, while 
waiting for a definite policy to be formulated, they went ahead day by day 
as fast as circumstances would allow. At first they were more or less directed 
by events; later they took matters into their own hands; and eventually 
decided to follow out a definite programme of exploration and of conquest. 
This was particularly true in Africa where, at the cost of long and difficult 
effort, they constructed a harmonious and unified domain. Unquestionably 
these constructive efforts awakened a spirit in the army, and a bravery and 
steadfastness of purpose in the nation, which have stood us in good stead 
during these latest years. 

The entire colonial policy from 1871 to 1915 may be said, roughly, to have 
had a twofold aim : the development of the existing colonies in North Africa 
and Indo-China in order to make them self-supporting; and the realization 
of certain dear and cherished dreams in Madagascar. But this does not 
quite explain the whole situation. It does not account for the French Kongo 
and Senegal, for example ; nor for the attitude of Algeria toward her neigh- 
bours — an attitude which was afterward responsible for French Equatorial 
Africa. It does not explain the amazing development of our East Africa or 
the conquest of Morocco. The beginning of all this movement was seem- 
ingly so very trivial that it is only upon looking closely that we can trace its 
relation to the whole. 

Let us follow briefly and chronologically the spasmodic attempts which, 
from 1 87 1 to 1 88 1, with certain exceptions, seem to indicate the growth of a 
definite method of colonial operations. 

In 1870 an insurrection, partly instigated and partly unpremeditated, 
took place in Algeria. This drew the attention of France to that colony, 
which was already one of the most valuable of our possessions, though, owing 
to bad management, it had proved an expensive undertaking. There were 
here 130,000 French or naturalized citizens, 150,000 foreigners. The native 
population counted two million and a half Arabs and Berbers. In 1871 an 
Alsatian community had been cleverly induced to settle in this new country 


and rapidly became an important element. Many emigrants from the South 
of France, attracted by liberal offers and driven from their own homes by the 
destruction of their vineyards, also settled in Algeria. In 1896 there were 
345,000 French or naturalized citizens, 53,000 Jews, and 235,000 unnaturalized 
Europeans of whom 158,000 were Spanish and 35,000 Italians. As for the 
native population, numbering 3,750,000 Arabs and Berbers, it had increased 
50 per cent. 

The governor-generals of Algeria — military men like the illustrious Chanzy, 
or civihans like Tirman, Jules Cambon, Revoil and Jonnart — faced a problem 
much like that of the English in India. Should they remain close to the sea ? 
Should they try to prevent further colonization inland ? Could they pre- 
vent it ? France, like England, had no desire for new conquests. In Eng- 
land the governor-generals, before leaving for their stations, were required 
to promise not to think of further colonization ; and in France they received 
like instructions. But sometimes situations are stronger than human wills. 
Fate often forces decisions. 

Each year the French were obHged to advance farther into the desert 
and into Southern Algeria which bordered upon it. Sometimes it was to 
repel the attacks of robbers and to drive back wandering tribes from out- 
lying posts; at other times it was to seek "fresh air" around our stations, 
a wider space of liberty and freedom. Thus, step by step, and station by 
station, we were forced at last, for our own safety, to conquer the very desert 
itself. Later we were obliged actually to cross it in order to get in touch with 
neighbouring countries and to quell disturbances like that of the Tuaregs. 
And thus we went on, hoping each day to find a way out of this embarrassing 

This same necessity for self-protection, the need of defending our Algerian 
tribes, led us seriously to consider the occupation of Tunis, a fertile country 
which Europe had long recognized as the complement of Algeria. Our 
officials had been given to understand, at the Congress of BerUn, that there 
would be no opposition to this plan. But this statement was not wholly true, 
for Italy coveted Tunis, just as Spain regretted her lost Oran, and she began 
secretly to estabhsh interests in Tunis which would counterbalance ours. 
But neither Italy's interest nor her opposition could dissuade us from an occu- 
pation necessary for our own safety. A short expedition was terminated by 
the Treaty of Bardo (March 12, 1881), followed by the Treaty of Marsa (June 
8, 1882). In these two treaties France agreed to assume the Tunisians' debt 
in return for the complete financial control of the country, and to institute a 
protectorate, whose liberality has since been often recognized by both native 
and European inhabitants. 

In Indo-China we held historic rights in Annam, and in Cochin-China 
also our institutions were well established. We were obliged to help one of 


our countrymen, M. Jean Dupuis, and intervene at Tonkin in 1874. The 
story is well known. M. Dupuis, while trading with the Chinese, despatched 
a shipment of firearms by the Red River. These were captured and held, 
under various pretexts, by some Annamese mandarins. Our Cochin-China 
colony, only three days distant, had been remarkably well governed by its 
admirals, men of very high standing. Admiral Dupre, who was then gov- 
ernor, sent a small expeditionary force into Tonkin under the command of a 
naval lieutenant, Francis Garnier. A number of daring young men accom- 
panied him : Harmand, Balny d'Avricourt, and Hautefeuille. They con- 
quered Tonkin with a rapidity that recalls the exploits of Fernando Cortez. 
But France feared compUcations with Annam and even with China. So 
she ordered the expeditionary force to halt and to sign a treaty, March 15, 
1874, which treaty, drawn up by men many hundred miles away, did not at 
all suit the colonial party. It was unjustly named the Philastre Treaty, 
for the young naval lieutenant who was the negotiator. This agreement 
deprived us of the conquered territories but recognized our exclusive protec- 
torate over Annam and its dependencies. Thus we were to give up the 
present for the sake of the future. This future proved to contain a long series 
of broken promises and treaties on the part of Annam, of protests and ex- 
peditions on the part of France. First came the treason of the Emperor of 
Annam, Tu Due, who signed the treaty and then, in violation of the terms of 
our protectorate, sent tribute money twice to Peking, in 1877 and 1880. To 
this France made violent protests in 1880, under the cabinet of Barthelemy 
Saint-Hilaire and again under Gambetta. But these protests were entirely 
ineffective. Close upon them followed the expedition and the death of 
Commander Riviere (1882), the expedition of Thuan-An, and the new Treaty 
of the Protectorate (Aug. 25, 1883). Then, as Asiatics are never bound by 
a treaty, a whole series of operations had to be undertaken by the illustrious 
Admiral Courbet, operations sanctioned by a third treaty, this time a more 
definite one, establishing the protectorate. Thenceforth, though we were 
still at war with China, Annam was virtually ours. As time went on peace 
was gradually established and we won back the portions of the territory 
which had been torn away from it. Our protectorate of Annam-Tonkin 
consisted of five provinces, Tonkin, Annam, Cochin-China, Cambodia, Laos, 
and the additional territory taken over from China, of Kouang-Tcheou-Ouan. 
The native population, made up of Annamites, Tonkinese, and mountaineers 
of different tribes, was estimated at fifteen million. The trade amounted to 
more than five hundred million francs. 

We lack space to describe, even briefly, the individual and collective efforts 
by which France gained the most interesting of her possessions. The Kongo, 
to-day known as French Equatorial Africa, owed its incorporation to the wise 
and humane diplomatic poHcy of the heroic Savorgnan de Brazza, who knew 


well how to choose his path skilfully, avoiding cruelty on the one hand and 
deceit on the other. Madagascar has been a part of France since the days of 
RicheHeu and Louis XIV. She was never quite forgotten under the Revolu- 
tion, or under the Monarchy of July nor even during the Second Empire, 
although a feeble foreign pohcy then allowed our rights to become com- 
promised. Fortunately, however, they were reaffirmed and established later 
(1883) under Admiral Pierre; under Admiral Miot ; under the firm adminis- 
tration of Le Myre de Vilers (1886-1889); and, thanks to the expedition of 
1895, by the sagacity and bravery of GallienI (1896-1905). Our settlements 
along the Somali coast, of which Obock was once (1882) the centre, and later 
Djibouti (1896), to-day are links in the chain connecting Ethiopia with the 
sea and with the outside world. Then there was the great Marchand ex- 
pedition from the Atlantic to the Nile, which, though weak in numbers and 
in equipment, made up for this weakness by the talent nigh to genius of 
Marchand, Mangin, Baratier, and others. This expedition could not all at 
once retrieve the errors of twenty years and more ; but it won for itself a 
memory which will live for ever in French hearts. 

We will tarry only at the two latest and most important stations in our 
colonial journey, French East Africa and Morocco. Volumes could be written 
about these two places, but we will confine ourselves to a few lines. 

We owe almost entirely to one man, Eugene Etienne, the superb posses- 
sion of French East Africa — very valuable because it is the keystone of all 
North Africa. France had held unquestioned rights in Senegal for centuries. 
In i860 General Faidherbe, one of the illustrious men of 1870, foresaw the 
value Senegal would one day have for us. Twenty years later Etienne, an 
Algerian deputy, friend and pupil of Gambetta (Secretary of State for the 
Colonies), a man of education and refinement, who had been inspired by con- 
stant association with the officers of the colonial army, divined the part 
France ought to play in this vast game whereby the nations were beginning 
to divide Africa. He acted with great promptness and despatch, which was 
very necessary at the time as Germany's indifference toward the colonies 
had come to an end and England's colonial appetite was not yet satisfied. 
He chose, particularly from among the naval and military officers, a group 
of co-workers who would make good explorers. He instructed them to re- 
serve by means of treaties and to hold by occupation as much territory as 
they could along the sea coast, the banks of the rivers, and Lake Tchad. All 
these miscellaneous holdings form to-day, after innumerable bargains and 
exchanges, the immense and, despite certain defects, very valuable domain 
of French East Africa. Successors of Eugene Etienne have expanded and 
consoHdated his work, and have formed all these disconnected territories 
into one state, re-modelled and skilfully consolidated by M. Ballay and 
M. Roume. But it is the name of £tienne which heads the list of remark- 


able founders and builders of our domain in this portion of the Dark Conti- 
nent. In other regions the men to whom France owes much of her great- 
ness have combined their efforts, have been guided by the opinions of higher 
authorities, or have been encouraged by the acclamations won by their suc- 
cess. Here only did one man carry out everything himself — and withal so 
quietly and modestly that it was almost a secret. France owes him a great 

At the end of this long schedule comes Morocco. If our colonial enter- 
prises had been conducted on any definite principle Morocco would have 
opened rather than closed this resume of efforts of forty years. Morocco is 
a possession of fundamental value to France. Situated in the corner, between 
Algeria and Senegal, she assures her owner, if France, complete safety in 
North and East Africa ; if a foreigner, the opportunity of breaking this se- 
curity and rendering the French dominion untenable. Everyone was aware 
of this — in France and abroad. Plans for the occupation of Morocco abound 
in our literature and in our archives. But 1870 passed without either Louis 
Philippe or Napoleon III daring to arouse the certain and latent opposition of 
England, or the jealous regrets of Spain. After 1870 our statesmen followed 
the line of least resistance and organized other and easier enterprises, think- 
ing to awaken less opposition in the minds of their opponents. Then came a 
day when, after all our colonial expansion, those in authority announced 
repeatedly that the era of conquest was closed and now the sole task of France 
should be to organize her colonial empire. This was the attitude in the 
period from 1895 to 1898. Paul Bourde, a man whom France had never 
adequately appreciated, author, historian, philosopher, with a keen intellect 
and sterling character, tried, as did also the author of this essay, to persuade 
the Government not to abandon the project of further colonization without 
at least attempting to attach Morocco to France. Many before us had 
dreamed of this same thing. M. Bourde and I called together some of our 
friends: M. Etienne, the head of the colonial party; Paul Revoil, then 
minister plenipotentiary and later governor-general of Algeria ; General 
Bailloud who, as general secretary was closely associated with the President 
of the Republic, M. Felix Faure, an old admirer of the colonial policy; two 
journalists of high standing, M. Etienne Grosclaude and Robert de Caix; 
and other friends like M. Rene Millet, who, then detained at foreign posts of 
responsibility, later gave evidence of their sympathy. With these men we 
organized a small committee which was kept secret for several years but 
became later the nucleus of the Moroccan Committee. We were to try and 
influence both the Government and public opinion ; which, in their turn, 
would react upon one another. M. Delcasse, then Minister of Foreign Affairs, 
did not discourage our ambitions, but listened to our views and respected our 
opinions. Stimulated by his interest, we later organized committees which 


in a few years increased by the hundreds. M. Delcasse took part in the 
enterprise in his customary way, silently, following plans which were not 
entirely ours and adopting methods which we had often criticized. He 
rendered France the inestimable service effacing a problem which had hitherto 
always been avoided and, not only did he face it, but, in spite of indifference 
at home and hostility abroad, he made every attempt to solve it, conformably 
to the best interests of his country. We take this opportunity of thanking 
him and of hoping that future generations will be as grateful to him as are 
his humble associates of those early days. 

His method is too well known to require description. He negotiated with 
all those who held rights or interests in Morocco and, by means of these 
negotiations, defined the questions at issue. It was a sort of clearing-house, 
where the nations could exchange their diverse colonial claims. From this 
arrangement dated the treaties with Spain (1902), with Italy (1900-1904), 
and with England (1904). Then followed the abrupt interference of Ger- 
many, irritated because she was not included or even consulted regarding 
the negotiations. The Kaiser disembarked at Tangier in 1905, offering, 
without reserve, his protection and his army to the Sultan of Morocco. At 
the conference of Algeciras, Germany, who had particularly desired the con- 
ference, found all Europe against her. Thenceforward France followed a 
temporizing poHcy as to Morocco, surrounded by snares, incidents, accidents. 
For example, there were the massacres of Casablanca and the affair of the 
deserters from the Legion. After a short period of quiet came the treaty 
of 1909, which implied a close economic cooperation between Germany and 
France. The rupture of this dangerous alliance produced a smouldering 
enmity which soon became an open one. Native tribes were secretly in- 
structed to revolt against the Sultan and against us. It was necessary to 
undertake a new expedition against Fez in the very teeth of a protesting 
Germany and of a parliament which, without M. Berteaux, radical-socialist 
and Minister of War — all honour to him — would have abandoned our rights. 
Finally occurred the incident of the gunboat Panther in the waters of Agadir, 
followed after a thousand difficulties by that at once advantageous, humiliat- 
ing, and exasperating treaty of 191 1. This treaty should have given us a 
free hand in Morocco; but it merely served to increase the complications 
there. Only the World War which forced us to break with Germany, 
ended a regime which had been cleverly calculated to ruin both our power and 
our prestige. To-day Morocco is perfectly equipped and organized. General 
Lyautey, the able military and civil commander, has made it a source of 
profit and greatness to France. A French Colonial Empire, a term applied 
so prematurely to Tunis in 1881, is really in existence now. Nothing 
is lacking to make it a perfect organism. France and her colonies are 
equally satisfied with the arrangement. We have a great realm in Africa, 


a rich and unified domain, the sj^mbol of French power and authority along 
both sides of the Mediterranean. The nation rehes upon her colonies. She 
can look her enemies in the face, and defy the future. And she owes all this 
to the abilities of her explorers, her soldiers, her politicians — and to the 
wisdom of her administrators and rulers. 


The task of governing so large a domain proved difficult and complicated, 
more difficult for France than for other nations. Had she been a country 
but newly acquainted with colonization she would, on finding herself face 
to face with an unknown problem, have consulted experts on the subject 
and asked the advice of her most able and intelligent thinkers, men who 
never yet had failed her. Then, acting upon their counsel, she would have 
adopted the most efficient and modern methods of administration. Un- 
fortunately, paradoxical as it sounds, France was an ancient country, that 
had been engaged for more than three centuries in this business of colonization, 
except during the brief period when she lost touch with the outside world and 
failed to recognize the changes taking place in Europe. So she tried to apply 
the principles of her earlier colonial days to a modern colonial realm, not 
realizing that the empire controlled by the ancien regime was physically 
different from that of the present day. In the only points wherein the two 
resembled one another she applied so short-sighted a policy that it led to 
immediate ruin. But all this was little understood by the people of our 

Canada was a typical colony. When first under French dominion, Canada 
was a country with a small population and a rather low degree of civilization. 
Little was known of her possibilities and little importance was attached to her 
resources. The land was fertile and responded readily to cultivation. The 
climate, while more severe than that of France, proved nevertheless very 
agreeable to French colonists. They were eager to settle in this new country 
and make it their home. They brought with them their own customs, 
industries, institutions, and laws. The famous ordinances of Colbert were 
applied in every particular. Canada became virtually a new France. But 
these same methods which the ancien regime applied so successfully in Canada 
failed completely when attempted in equatorial and tropical countries : San 
Domingo, the Antilles, Guiana. Ready-made colonies were sent out, as they 
had been in the case of Canada, divided into social classes, in the hope of 
founding a community exactly analogous to that of France. But in every 
instance this system, when applied in tropical countries, was either only 
partially successful or failed entirely. After a few years nothing would remain 
of the experiment. It was merely a waste of money and of human life. Th« 
Turgor enterprise to Guiana, led by the brother of the minister, proved a 


disaster. After a few years nothing was left of it. Little by little the race 
degenerated, the population diminished. It was a pitiful waste of lives and 
of wealth. 

The Revolution added a mistake of another son to that o( the ancien regime. 
First came ignorance of the effect of climate ; later came impracticable laws and 
institutions. The equality of races, though doubtless it may be a dogma of 
to-morrow, was an error in those days as it is to-day. This proclaimed equality 
worked the ruin of many of our countrymen and of the lands committed to 
their charge. France, the only nation to believe in this dogma, was aJso 
the only one that inflicted it upon her colonial possessions. The power of 
abstract ideas is so deeply rooted in the mental life of our people that 
these failures left the highfalutin theories themselves practically unchanged. 
When in 1830, and particularly in 1870, we began to play an important role 
in colonial politics, this erroneous principle of racial equality still formed a 
part of our administrative policy. We accorded to natives rights which 
nothing had prepared them to exercise. In 1889, during the Colonial Congress 
at the Exposition, the theory of "Assimilation" was still very popular. Even 
to-day these ideas have their adherents, but we can no longer trace their 
influence on legislation. 

Mistakes whose consequences proved so great are attributable to two causes : 
to the memories of the past and to a strange strife about words. Our language 
has no terms to distinguish the different methods by which one nation governs 
another. All are designated by a single word — colonization. And all foreign 
dominions which are controlled by the state are called colonies. But this is 
not the case in the more exact languages. A true colony is a new country, 
with a healthful climate, practically uninhabited or inhabited only by scanty 
tribes of slightly civihzed people. Such a country is occupied and developed 
by the people of an older and more civilized land, according to their ideas 
and customs. Most of our acquisitions since 1870, however, have been in the 
tropics or their vicinity. They have been well populated. Some of them 
indeed have been over-populated. And their inhabitants have not always been 
barbarians, but sometimes the descendants of an old and beautiful civilization, 
which even in its decadence has still dominated the native life. All these 
different kinds of possessions we call by the generic name of colonies. A 
difference in the term would have reminded us of the necessity for a difference 
in our method of administration. 

In fine, France has always been dominated by a fatal tendency toward 
uniformity and logic. Every Frenchman must have the same religion, 
every college the same curriculum, every province the same organization. 
In France, what is suitable for Aquitania must be suitable also for Flanders 
and Brittany. The world over, whatever is good for France must be good 
for her colonies. Examples abound to prove this statement. If perchance 


the argument for uniformity does not impress the legislator the argument of 
logic is sure to do so. 

"But gentlemen, if you will be logical," has a decided influence in Parlia- 
ment and in committees and has often instigated the most imprudent actions. 

For all these reasons France and her governors have long remained ignorant 
of the fact that her new domain needed new methods of administration. She 
did not recognize the character of the problem which she had to solve. It 
was no longer "How to colonize a new country", but "How to govern a 
conquered people" — a problem infinitely more complicated and difficult. 

Moreover, other difficulties rose to obscure the issue further. In this wide- 
spread and motley colonial empire it was obvious that, for physiological 
reasons, white men would find it very difficult to settle and bring up their 
families. They would not be able to work with their hands, but could only 
direct the native workers. And yet there were regions, as in North Africa, 
where, thanks to the sea air or the altitude, white men could live, work, 
and make their homes. These regions were inhabited by Arabs and Berbers, 
possessors of the land since time immemorial. Our treaties and our sense 
of honour alike forbade driving them out. These people led chiefly a pastoral 
life with settlements so far apart that in many places there were vast spaces 
of fertile land left uncultivated. Soon the French, excellent farmers, began to 
occupy these places. Tales of these unoccupied lands were carried back to 
France by the generations of soldiers who had overrun North Africa from 1830 
to 1880. The French bourgeois and the French peasant came to regard this 
African territory as an El Dorado. They could not bear to think that land 
bought with the blood of French soldiers should be withheld from French 
farmers. "Occupied land to the Arabs, the rest to the French" was a motto 
which seemed fair enough. It certainly was conducive to colonization. It 
would have seemed a sensible arrangement, but it proved extremely dangerous. 

The colonist who leaves a beautiful country like France merely to better 
himself is almost necessarily a bit avaricious, whatever his rank or degree of 
intelligence. He is often unscrupulous. He covets the native's land and he 
needs his labour. From driving away the native to forcing him to perform 
domestic service is but a short step. The government strives to prevent 
this practice, but it is difficult. The problem of governing a conquered 
people is complicated by that of ruling the colonists and of managing aff"airs 
so that both classes can live peaceably and prosperously side by side. It is 
almost impossible. 

The two nations that have won the laurel in colonial achievement, by their 
long and continuous success, are England and Holland. They recognize so 
fully the truth of this principle that for a long time they tried to prevent the 
emigration of their own countrymen to their foreign provinces. Until 1831 
the East India Company forbade the landing of a British subject on Indig,u 


soil, except by a permit, and this was rarely granted. Even to-day the Indian 
Government does not encourage colonization. In that immense empire, spread- 
ing as far as from Moscow to Gibraltar, there are 325,000,000 inhabitants, 
only 150,000 of which are Enghsh. Among the fifty million inhabitants of the 
United Provinces, watered by the fertilizing Ganges, not one single colonist 
of British origin is to be found. Only in a few districts have the English been 
allowed to plant tea and jute. These conditions are self-imposed by the con- 
querors. It is the price with which England has bought the opportunity to 
devote herself entirely to the government of her Indian subjects. She is 
paid for her efforts only by her increased commerce and prestige. 

In North Africa we French have allowed — nay, rather, persuaded — one 
million Europeans, 600,000 of whom are French, to settle in a territory con- 
taining ten million natives, Arabs and Berbers. Many of these Europeans 
live in the cities, but many also are scattered through the country districts, 
cultivating grain, raising cattle, planting vineyards, fruit trees, and olive 
orchards. As a result the Europeans control the government and the country, 
and have not left the natives the rights they deserve. It is indeed surprising 
that these conditions have not given rise to a rebellion. Later we shall see 
why this is. When the war is over all this must be revised and readjusted. 

Every system has its weak points, but let us mention also good ones. In 
our policies there are many of these. I have already cited some statistics 
which indicate that real progress has been made. It might have been greater, 
but let us try to be satisfied with it, for progress is always slow, and the bulk 
of our own, which represents approximately a period of fifty years, is really 
the product of the last ten. Now that we recognize the errors of our policy, 
we are improving our laws and institutions. The future is full of hope. 

The present state of affairs is more satisfactory than we could have ex- 
pected. It would take too long to describe it in detail. A paragraph must 
suffice. Our laws were not sufficiently adapted to the customs of our subjects, 
our officials were not always impartial, our colonists were sometimes rude and 
thoughtless. In spite of this our subjects, as the war has proved, have 
resisted innumerable temptations to break away from our domination or to 
fight against us. They have given us unfailing loyalty and better still, 
sincere sympathy, which no amount of discipline could have bought for us. 
Our African troops of the north and the west and those recently acquired 
from Morocco have fought side by side with us, winning our admiration and 
terrorizing our foes. Some of our subject people have actually protested to 
the local authorities because we have not asked their assistance. Our Indo- 
Chinese subjects have proved skilled and able workmen in our military factories 
and have given us important financial aid. The bond between us has proved 

And why is this ? Because these people, guided by the most intelligent 


of their compatriots, realize that in the very nature of things they can no 
longer live independently under their ancient governments. And, knowing 
that they must submit to some foreign rule, they prefer ours because they 
recognize its broad justice and kindliness. A great administrator of Indo- 
China said recently that the educated people there still remember, after more 
than a hundred years, two noted Frenchman, the Bishop of Adran, Mgr. 
Pineau de Bahaigne, and Paul Bert. These good men still live in the daily 
thoughts of the natives, though they were with them actually but a very short 
time. That is what really counts. To govern these people successfully we 
must, in our political dealings and administrative capacities, act worthily of 
their faithfulness and of their excellent disposition toward us. 

But there are other reasons for their loyalty besides this vague sym- 
pathy and kindly feeling. The French people have very little race prejudice. 
We do not hold our subjects at a distance, we live close to them, associate 
with them, receive them in our homes. The Arab or Berber household servant 
feels that he is really one of the family. Our farmers in North Africa have 
worked beside the natives and taught them our methods. By this daily 
example they have diffused among the natives more practical instruction 
than have all the professional and technical schools of other countries. We 
have taught our native helpers not only how to manage and fertilize the soil, 
how to reap and bind up the sheaves, how to take advantage of favourable 
weather, but also how to be thrifty, how to save, and how to make good in- 
vestments. In short, we have initiated them into the secrets of agriculture, 
of business, of finance. Thanks to us and to our instruction many of them 
are in comfortable circumstances and some of them are rich. There is a 
considerable number of millionaires not only in North Africa, but along the 
Atlantic, on our East African coast, and even in Indo-China. 

So the partisans of the colonial policy are beginning to see their foresight 
justified. In spite of German ridicule, particularly that of Bismarck and of 
List, hundreds and thousands of Frenchmen are living happily and pros- 
perously in our various colonies and possessions. Millions of natives live 
close beside them, profiting by their lessons, following their precepts with an 
unquestioned loyalty, and sharing their prosperity and progress. These 
colonies cost the State scarcely anything at all; they have increased our 
markets and our commerce ; several are ready, when permitted, to provide for 
their own defence and, in the meantime, their regiments are fighting with ours 
against a common enemy. In very truth we and these people are united in 
our allegiance to La Patrie. 

Twenty years ago the Due de Broglie, one of the most eminent opponents 
of the colonial policy and at one time President of the Council, wrote words 
which have often been quoted during recent months : 

"I will not ask if this foreign expansion, aside from its magnificence on 


paper, is able to replace a single one of the things which this war (1870) has 
destroyed. It would be ridiculous even to ask such a question. Such sarcasm 
would be unkind. The most optimistic cannot foresee a day when our new 
possessions will furnish us with even a single recruit for our army or a single 
contribution to our budget." 

Later still — only fifteen years ago — a well-known Frenchman, when asked 
to picture the progress of France during the course of the Nineteenth Century, 
attached so little value to the provinces that he found no place for them in 
his design. But France, as a nation, did not share either this disdain or this 
incredulity. Year after year she has felt greater confidence in her colonies, 
as she has seen these enterprises develop. But it is only recently that she has 
begun to realize their full value to the State. It required a war and the lessons 
of a war to make her appreciate this ; a war, and, at a crucial moment, the 
support and assistance of a friendly government. 

Let us consider the situation at Berlin on the fourth of August, 1914. 
Germany, determined to attack France and Russia, tried hard to limit the 
number of her enemies. Sir E. Goschen, British Ambassador to Germany, 
had been summoned to the Wilhelmstrasse by Bethmann-Hollweg, Chan- 
cellor of the Empire. To persuade England to remain neutral Bethmann- 
Hollweg promised to respect a conquered France (he never doubted that she 
ivould be conquered) and not to tamper with her Continental territories — 
not even those that bordered on the North Sea and the Channel. Unmoved, 
Sir E. Goschen listened to these promises. Continental France was certainly 
important. But, said he, "the colonies, particularly those of North Africa; 
will you leave her those also ?" Bethmann-Hollweg refused to commit himself 
on this point. So England refused to promise neutrality, considering that it 
would be dangerous to allow France to be again weakened, and that Fra^ice 
without her colonies would cease to be a great power. It was the same opinion 
which Jules Ferry had expressed twenty years earlier, before an incredulous 
parliament. Spoken by the representative of a foreign government it seemed 
far more convincing. It answers triumphantly all criticism of a colonial 
policy, and vindicates the friends of this policy; it convinces France and her 
friends of the practical value of these distant enterprises, undertaken with 
hesitation but maintained with unconquerable perseverance, through fifty 
long years of opposition. 





The European conflict, into which Russia suddenly was drawn, veiled, if 
it did not definitely halt, her traditional policy of expansion across her elastic 
Asiatic frontiers in search of a warm-water port. Where that sea-window lay 
did not greatly matter so long as a path could be cloven thereto. 

The war diverted her activities in this quest. There was a change of venue, 
a shifting of her channels of acquisition from the east to the south. Asiatic 
Turkey, and beyond it Constantinople and the Dardanelles, at last spread 
open for attack, and thither she headed her legions as part of her new campaign. 

Distant Asia at least breathed more easily. The war found other occupa- 
tion for the ubiquitous Cossack who either preceded or followed the hordes of 
emigrating Russian peasantry over his neighbours' hinterlands, whither they 
journeyed under the aegis of a benevolent government after — -sometimes even 
before — the way had been blazed for them by unblushing diplomatic ruses. 

The disquieting echoes of Russia's tramp across Asia no longer agitated 
European chancelleries, which had doubtfully received the tidings that the 
Russian colossus was firmly planting his heel in the soil of Manchuria — where 
he had succeeded in remaining despite the conflict with Japan — or quartering 
himself in Persia, or pitching his tent in Mongolia. The colossus had now 
become otherwise engaged, as indeed all Europe had, and Asiatic problems 
were forgotten in the general upheaval. 

Modern Russia enjoyed her greatest triumphs in the spacious days when 
Czardom towered in the hegemony of Europe. But the respect and fear she 
once inspired from her Western neighbours has long since faded away. Powers 
more potent than she stand as a barrier extending from the Baltic to the 
Black Sea. And long ago it became evident that for Russia the Star of Em- 
pire that once turned westward had set. 

So Russia turned toward her native sphere in the East. An illimitable 
field outspread for her in Asia, where her sleek, Oriental diplomacy cut easy 
pathways, with or without the ruthless exercise of arms. 

Thither she had set out on her resistless expansion even in mediaeval times, 
starting from the little principality of Moscow, whose successive rulers only 
produced the original Muscovy by welding into a single realm a number of 



petty Russias, wrested from the Tartars. Greater Russia began by adven- 
turous expeditions over the Ural Mountains and by the occupation of un- 
peopled Siberia. Peter the Great appeared and thrust his borders out to the 
west, wrenching the Baltic provinces from Sweden to obtain a sea outlet. 
Later came the inclusion of Poland, the subjugation of the last of the Tartar 
Khanates of South Russia, the transformation of the Black Sea from a Turkish 
into a Russian lake. Then a further slice was carved from Sweden by the 
acquisition of Finland. This was followed by the annexation of Transcau- 
casia, which clinched Russia's domination of the Black and Caspian Seas; 
and then came the cession of a great part of the basin of the Amur from China. 

The close of Alexander IPs reign found Russia sprawhng over a vast 
territory. Yet it did not suffice for Alexander III, who added some 430,000 
square kilometres to it and would have pushed south into Afghanistan had not 
Great Britain intervened and stopped his legions at the gates of Herat. 
There, the Russian frontiers had reached the crest of the Himalayas, overlook- 
ing England's prized India, and there British diplomacy defined an inviolate 

Under Nicholas II Russia pushed now this way, now that, ever seeking 
the sea— striking into Manchuria and Mongolia, nibbling at Tibet, passing 
Afghanistan by with an envious shrug, rooting her influence in Chinese 
Turkestan, throttling Persia, and casting cold, acquisitive eyes on Asiatic 

The advance of Russia has been explained as a race movement akin to the 
European invasion of our Aryan ancestors, rather than as conscious colonial 
exploitation. The simile holds in the sense that Russia, alone among her 
neighbours, frequently overflowed and spread beyond her actual frontiers 
without military operations, while other nations, if the purely military annexa- 
tions of Germany be excepted, went overseas to extend their possessions. 
The question as to whether Russia's expansion is to be explained in terms of 
biology or of politics concerns us little. She did expand. Russification — the 
word is not so sinister as it sounds — was disguised under a phrase of rich 
euphony, "spontaneous infiltration," which covered a multitude of more or 
less benevolent aggressions pursued in the exercise of the categorical impera- 
tive : "Get out of my way, and tolerate me when I get in yours." 

To the credit of the Russification policy it should be said that that was 
what the subjugated people did. They accepted the Czar and all his works. 
No race was Prussianized ; nothing so blighting and soul-kilhng fell to the lot 
of tribes who came under the rule of Petrograd. Russification was rather 
akin to British and French colonial policy. If it meant here and there the 
imposition of laws the submitting tribes did not want, or the wresting from 
them of their inherited pastures for the use of incoming Russian settlers, 
they were not required to assume the semblance of Russians, nor to sacrifice 


their religion. Remorseless the autocratic or bureaucratic rule of Russia 
might be when waged on her disaffected nationals nearer home ; it dispensed 
a remarkable freedom, even a spirit of liberalism, in pursuing its colonizing 

The peasant pioneers frequently penetrated new territory with practically 
no assistance from the military. But their peaceful establishment soon formed 
a pretext for imperial absorption. For example, just before the war, north- 
ern Persia, western and northern MongoHa, and the inclusive regions of 
Trans-Caucasia, Turkestan and Seven Rivers Land were invaded by streams 
of such immigrants — "a river of men flowing out of the depths of European 
Russia," as Stephen Graham called the exodus. The Government's policy 
was first to encourage them to emigrate from the interior to the frontier. 
That reached by a process of voluntary colonization, their presence there was 
seized upon by Petrograd to further its political designs. A short step took 
these hosts over the boundaries. Russian interests were thereupon created 
on neighbouring areas, and on the pretext of defending those interests the 
Government sent military forces to seize and hold new territory for the Czar. 



The ground was always well laid before the peasants came. By a deft 
and subtle employment of commercial, ecclesiastic, and diplomatic overtures, 
rather than by military methods, the Russian Government drove entering 
wedges that made the subsequent inflow of the peasantry a simple and 
seemingly natural movement. 

Sometimes her secret agents, mostly army officers, were disguised as 
orthodox priests, even to the towering headgear and flowing hair, and con- 
cealed their political mission beneath the role of religious proselytizers. 
Sometimes they posed as sportsmen in search of big game, or unsophisticated 
tourists innocently curious about the country's resources and trade possibilities, 
or commercial trayellers wandering at will over the coveted territory. 

The establishment of Russian settlements in Asiatic towns beyond the 
border followed the enterprise of these advance agents. Privileges obtained 
for Russian merchants and caravans to enter and trade in the ear-marked 
Persian or Chinese areas paved the way to concessions for the establishment 
of stores and banks, for trading-posts and ports, for improving the navigation 
of rivers, for postal arrangements and stations for the exchange of drivers and 
horses, for the exploitation of the timber, mining, and other resources of the 
country, and for the purchase of land for building consulates, factories, and 
dwellings for the use of Russians engaged in these various undertakings. 
Thus was laid the foundation for many a Russian colony. 


The settlements were soon strengthened by the institution of Russian courts 
of justice. For it was explained that Russian settlers should be amenable 
only to Russian law, as the native tribunals would be prejudiced. Pseudo- 
scientific exploring parties came, escorted by Cossack detachments, which 
indicated to the discerning that they were in reaUty military reconnoitring 
companies. These often signalized their entree by undertaking to act as 
police and to supervise the behaviour of Russian subjects toward their weaker 
neighbours. More than that, Russian officers soon managed to insinuate 
themselves into the native armies as organizers. Needless to say, the army 
contingents were not in reality stationed among the Russian colonists to keep 
them in order, but to hold their weaker neighbours in subjection. The effect 
of their presence would eventually become known to the European chancelleries 
by a note from Petrograd stating that local disturbances had compelled Russia 
to assume the protection of the territory of some chieftain, ameer, or khan, 
and another Russian "sphere of influence" was thereby instituted. Such 
action frequently had a fictitious uprising as its forerunner, engineered from 
army sources. A trained rabble would burn or loot some Russian stores, 
intercept Russian mails, violate the Russian flag, or perhaps slay an inconse- 
quential vice-consul, preferably not of Russian nationality. Here surely was ex- 
cuse sufficient for the despatch of a punitive expedition across the frontier, and 
the occupation of the capital and chief seaports "for the protection of Russian 
subjects and interests." Russian possession becoming thus firmly rooted, the 
guileless victims bowed to the new regime, and then would come the railroads. 

In Russia's railroad system, in fact, Hes the explanation of her thrusts into 
neighbouring lands. They are hke cut veins, being abrupt dead-ends cHpped 
at her frontiers. On the map they suggest the exposed root of a plant with 
its outreaching radicles. Each radicle sets out in a different direction to 
reach the sea. Only one gets there. That is the longest — the Trans-Siberian 
railroad — which stretches 5,000 miles from Petrograd into the Far East, 
where its presence and purposes caused the war with Japan. It is a military 
strategic railroad, as China discovered, guarded as no other railroad in the 
world is guarded, with blockhouses every three or four miles housing armed 
guards and with garrisons at every important point. Another radicle is the 
railroad route, extending 2,300 miles, which connects Petrograd with Andidjan. 
Here the Chinese frontier stops it; but its railhead is pointed straight into 
Chinese Turkestan, where the Czar Alexander, who laid the line, planned 
that it should penetrate. A third radicle branches to the south and is halted 
at Erivan, near the Persian frontier. The line skirts this obstacle as a root 
does a stone, and sends forth another branch as though in quest of freer access 
to the beyond. But the Afghan frontier bars its path at Kushk. Yet an- 
other radicle runs from Petrograd for 1,400 miles through the Trans-Caucasus 
to Kars, only to be blocked by the Turkish frontier. 


With or without China's consent, Russia might extend her Andidjan 
railroad into MongoHa, and connect — who knows where ? By England's 
permission her Erivan railhead could contmue into Persia and join the line to 
India. Germany's sanction would enable her to enter Turkey by a link with 
the Bagdad route and so connect with Constantinople. In brief, Russia's 
railways have a habit of stopping abruptly at her frontiers, or of trailing off 
in feelers groping to find some way out of landlocked bounds. But sometimes 
she has boldly sundered the bounds and herself laid the needed rails beyond 



Russia's modern expansion has merely been the application of a precon- 
ceived strategy dictated by her railroads, the foregoing survey of which will 
serve as an index to her more recent activities. The chief of these was her 
penetration of the Far East to Vladivostok via the Trans-Siberian route. 

This project provided the line of least resistance for Russian expansion 
in northern China through Manchuria, and toward the effete little kingdom 
of Korea, on which Japan had fixed a longing eye. The result of the Chino- 
Japanese war opened the way to bold aggressions by Russia for furthering her 
schemes in this zone, and in pursuing them she thwarted and flouted Japan. 
The latter had been robbed of the fruits of her victory over China by Russian 
machinations. Already jealous of Russia's designs on Korea, Japan had to 
stand by and behold her Muscovite rival take from China part of the war 
spoils which Japan had won, namely, a long lease of Port Arthur and TaUen- 
wan, with concessions for uniting these ports to the Trans-Siberian system by 
a branch line. Thus Russia tightened her grip. On the pretext of "pacify- 
ing" this region, she had virtually made herself its mistress following the 
Chinese Boxer rebellion of 1900. The outlook was that with the completion of 
her "spontaneous infiltration" of Manchuria, her aggressive policy would 
naturally spread to Korea, whose deeply indented coasts offered better strategic 
and more spacious sites for new ports and arsenals than Port Arthur. 

A secret treaty between Russia and China, disclosed in 1907, indicated 
that Russia contemplated the formal annexation of Manchuria. At any 
rate its terms, providing for the resumption of civil government by China in 
that province under what was virtually a Russian protectorate, were inter- 
preted as foretokens of that step, to be followed perhaps by the acquisition 
of all Mongolia, Sungaria, and eastern Turkestan. China's part in this secret 
dealing with Russia produced remonstrances from the United States, Great 
Britain, and other powers; but she could only answer regretting such nego- 
tiations and pleaded that she dared not refuse to enter into them. The whole 
grandiose scheme and its possibilities meant that the Russian Empire would 


be advanced some eight hundred miles in China and pushed to the frontiers 
of Tibet and India. 

The Manchurian poHcy alone, with its menace to Korea, sufficed to stir 
Japan. She had been cherishing plans of conquest on the Asiatic mainland 
since her war with China and announced that she would never tolerate the 
exclusive influence of Russia in Manchuria. Russia's activity in Korea in 
1903 inflamed Japan's growing hostility to her projects and war came the 
following year. 

The outcome of the conflict crippled Russia as an international force 
and it seemed as though her Asiatic expansion had received a permanent 
check. Under the treaty of Portsmouth in 1905, by which the belligerents 
settled their diff'erences, she was forced to cede to Japan half of the island of 
SaghaUen (seized in 1875), surrender her lease of the Kwangtung peninsula 
and Port Arthur, evacuate Manchuria, and recognize Japan's sphere of in- 
fluence in Korea. 

The treaty nevertheless reserved to Russia a sphere of influence in northern 
Manchuria through which the Trans-Siberian line ran. Japan secured the 
footing she sought in that province by obtaining the southern portion as 
her sphere. Thus Russia never really surrendered Manchuria : she merely 
divided the spoils with her foe. Military occupation by her alone gave place 
to an economic and commercial grasp shared with Japan. The treaty even 
allowed her to retain her railroad guards, which were an armed force. Japan 
was acquiescent, since she too had the privilege of garrisoning armed guards 
in her sphere. The two countries, in fact, entered into a series of agreements 
aiming at friendly cooperation in Manchuria and at eHminating all traces of 
their bitter strife. 

Free to pursue her traditional methods of absorption in northern Man- 
churia, Russia claimed, under existing treaties with China, the exclusive and 
absolute right of administration of her railroad zone. She thereupon set 
certain administrative regulations in force at Harbin and other Siberian points, 
the eff"ect of which was to cause friction with the Chinese authorities and 
foreigners. She was bent on establishing jurisdiction over the greater part of 
Harbin by imposing taxes and closing stores and warehouses owned by Chinese 
who refused to pay them to the railroad officials. China protested against 
this Russifying policy, which she denounced as virtually placing northern 
Manchuria under the domination of Petrograd. 

In 1909 came a proposal from the United States, through Secretary Knox, 
for the neutralization of the Manchurian railroads to end this and other causes 
of friction. It was ill-received alike by Russia and Japan, since its acceptance 
meant surrendering the control of the lines to China. Both declined to 
consider it. 

It was ingeniously urged that for Russia and Japan to relinquish interest 


in their respective sections of the Manchurian roads would be a step in no wise 
different from the renunciation by the United States of its control of the 
Panama Canal. The Taft administration was invited to contemplate the 
manner of its reception of such a proposal from Petrograd and Tokio. The 
United States was moreover reminded that the position of Russia and Japan 
in Manchuria, and their divided control of the railroads there, resulted from a 
terrible war which had been ended by American mediation leading to the 
Treaty of Portsmouth, negotiated on American territory. That treaty 
sanctioned their presence there. Apart from all consideration of the Ports- 
mouth Treaty's inspiration, however, Manchuria was closer to the interests of 
the occupying powers than the Panama zone was to the United States. The 
latter, in fact, was told, that it had less right to Panama than Russia and 
Japan had to Manchuria. 

Russia's hold on Manchuria was dsfended on other grounds. If she lost 
control of her portion of the railroad system, the heart of Siberia would be 
laid open, Vladivostok would be left in the air, and the Amur Valley, the 
maritime provinces, and all the possessions of Czardom to the Far East would 
be held on sufferance. The Trans-Siberian system in Manchuria, in short, 
was a frontier protection ; and Russia was resolute in rejecting the Knox 
proposal for abundant reasons, both sentimental and practical. To surrender 
her control of communications would mean the exposure of the most vulnerable 
point of her Empire. She had built the Trans-Siberian route at great cost 
in blood and treasure and confronted the task of doubling its track to people 
her unfilled Colonial Empire — Siberia — whither she was transplanting her 
surplus population at the rate of a million a year. But the fact escaped 
mention that she continued by the same means to people Manchuria and to 
oust the Chinese therefrom. 



The failure of the Knox proposal made Russia's relations with China 
more strained than ever. The result of the Russo-Japanese war had sen- 
sibly affected the Celestial attitude toward her. She found herself snubbed 
and cold-shouldered when she sought to regain her lost prestige in China. 
Peking, once pliant as gold wire and impressionable as wax in the hands of the 
Czar's ministers, once eager to comply with Russian requests for railroad 
concessions, political treaties, territorial grants, and commercial privileges 
almost before they were asked — this same Peking now dared to flout the 
great Russian Bear. The Muscovite actually had real grievances against the 
Celestial. Treaties were violated and misinterpreted, thwarting acts were 
committed, and opposing intentions and motives boldly revealed. When 
Russia complained that treaties were construed in a sense least favourable 


to her interests, and pointed to the commercial privileges she had obtained 
in Manchuria, the wily Peking Government blandly pointed to the self-deny- 
ing ordinance of Portsmouth, under which Russia had — but only textually — 
renounced all rights in that province. China's attitude, suave but unflinch- 
ing, caused Russia to feel not only slighted, but injured in her trade and com- 
merce and foiled in her political aims. 

In the end Russia applied coercion. In February, 191 1, she resorted 
to a demand for the immediate observance by China of a treaty made in 1881. 
Under it she claimed certain rights, among them the privilege of imposing 
import duties within a certain distance of the frontier zone; a guarantee of 
extra-territorial jurisdiction over Russian subjects in China; the trial of legal 
suits between Russians and Chinese by mixed tribunals ; freedom of trade, 
travel, and residence for Russian subjects in Mongolia and on both slopes of 
the Celestial Mountains north of the Great Wall; the appointment of Russian 
consuls in certain places, proper facilities for their domicile, and the right of 
Russians to acquire land where Russia was entitled to have consuls. 

China demurred. Russia's response was an ultimatum calling for an 
unequivocal assent to her demands, and China, at last chastened and awed, 
capitulated. Russia's record of the matter described the Chinese note she 
received as a full and satisfactory acceptance of her interpretation of the 
treaty of 1881, and as an evidence of good feeling. Russification, once balked, 
was plainly to the fore again. 


Mongolia's open door 

The Chinese Revolution that presently followed encouraged Russian de- 
signs upon Mongolia. Here was presented a rich opportunity, not only for 
reprisals on China and for the repair of damaged prestige, but to retrieve the 
reverses sustained in the war with Japan by securing compensatory territory. 

Mongolia lay invitingly open. Its outer province even beckoned, being 
disaffected toward Chinese rule. The Russian railroad system abutting on 
it betrayed the strategic aim of ultimately absorbing it. But the Mongolians 
passively contemplated the presence of a long line stretching across their 
northern border and curling toward its eastern side, and another that ran di- 
rect from Petrograd to the western end, where it stopped, waiting on the steps 
of China's back door. Moreover, this western frontier of the Chinese Empire, 
where it touched on Russian Turkestan, was 2,400 miles from Peking, and there 
were no Chinese railroads to reach it. 

A separatist movement from China began in Outer Mongolia, as well as in 
Chinese Turkestan. The Peking Government found itself unable to maintain 
the uncertain hold it had held on the province, which leaned more and more 
toward Russian control. The Chinese policy, adopted in recent years, of 


keeping Mongolia within the Empire by founding colonies beyond the Great 
Wall and diverting to them some of the surplus population which formerly 
had emigrated to the United States or to its possessions, was resented by the 
Mongolian princes. Their lands were confiscated and their ranges curtailed 
for the benefit of the Chinese colonists. Russian agents stimulated their 
resentment against the Peking authorities and encouraged their resistance to 
them, besides playing upon the political aspirations of the Mongolian eccle- 
siastical authorities. 

The revolution bared Russia's designs on Mongolia. She openly demanded 
that the troops China despatched there be withdrawn, that Chinese coloniza- 
tion cease, and that Outer Mongolia be recognized as independent in its internal 

Russia made her intervention — and motives — clear enough. Russian 
arms would aid the natives to maintain order, since China could not be per- 
mitted to maintain mihtary forces in the territory. Besides, Russia had 
privileges in Mongolia regarding railways and mines, and she reminded China 
of them. She professed no desire for the separation of Mongolia from China, 
but insisted on Mongolian autonomy under Chinese sovereignty. Nor was 
Russia, so she asserted, aiming at a protectorate in Mongolia, as was suspected. 
She was merely acting as an intermediary, accepted by the province, in the 
difficulty arising from the Mongolian movement for self-government. 

Perhaps Russia meant that she was not aiming at annexation, which had 
its disadvantages. Her subsequent action indisputably proves that her in- 
tervention did mean a protectorate and all that this involves, but under the 
polite fiction of Chinese sovereignty. In October, 1912, she made a treaty 
with the Mongohans at Urga, whereby she undertook to aid them in main- 
taining autonomy (that is, would resist Chinese interference with their internal 
affairs), support Mongolia's right to a national army, and exclude Chinese 
troops and colonists. In return for Muscovite assistance, Mongolia allowed 
Russia a free hand in the sphere of trade, exempted Russian merchants from 
the payment of customs dues, granted Russians the protection of Russian 
consular courts, and allowed them to establish factories and trading settle- 
ments on Mongolian territory. 

These privileges only applied to Outer Mongolia, but were adaptable for 
extension to Inner Mongolia. China decided to assent to the Russian pro- 
posals as they affected the former territory, but would resist any aggression 
in the latter. Her surrender, however, was not made supinely. Large 
numbers of Mongolians felt the weight of her wrath, being massacred by 
Chinese troops to check their tendency to join the movement in Outer Mon- 

The treaty went before the Chinese Parliament for recognition. If that 
were granted, Russia undertook to refrain from colonizing Mongolia. She 


also sought China's acceptance of her as a mediator in future relations with 
Mongolia, in return for which she would recognize Outer and Inner Mongolia 
as integral parts of the Celestial Empire. 

There was, of course, much temporizing. The Russian proposals were an 
affront to patriotic Chinamen and to the Parliament and a voluntary accept- 
ance of them was too much to be expected. Russia chafed under the delay 
and finally wielded her club again. In July, 1913, she broke off negotiations 
with China, charging the latter with a lack of frankness in dealing with Mon- 
golia, and notifying her Government that it must recognize the Urga agree- 
ment before negotiations could be resumed. 

The Russophobe policy of the tutu or governor of the province of Heilung- 
kiang was singled out as a pretext for further action. A brigade of Russian 
railroad guards and three batteries of Russian artillery appeared in Tsitsihar 
in that provmce by way of protest. Under this intimidation China hastily 
dismissed the offending tutu and made reparation for alleged losses which 
his conduct had caused Russian traders. This demonstration prefaced a firm 
refusal by Petrograd to heed further remonstrances from China regarding the 
Mongolian treaty. Thereupon China agreed to all the Russian demands. 

So Russification gained a hold in Mongolia under the advantages of a 
protectorate, and none of the disadvantages of annexation. The latter was 
easy, but Mongolia in process of subjugation might prove a hard nut to crack 
and its kernel not worth the trouble. Northern Mongolia had a sparse popu- 
lation, poor in spirit and worldly goods, and there were only pastures and 
minerals for foreign exploitation. But by forbidding Chinese colonization, 
Russia preempted these Mongolian resources for the use of her nationals 
(despite her treaty undertaking not to colonize), without the cost of govern- 
ing. Concessions were acquired, joint-stock companies formed, and com- 
mercial expeditions hastened from Moscow. With a ramification of colonies 
established by these means, Mongolia lay available for easy annexation when- 
ever Russia's economic interests made the step desirable. 



We must turn to the Anglo-Russian treaty of 1907, respecting Persia, for 
guidance as to Russia's aims on the remainder of her frontier to the south 
from Mongolia. This agreement primarily divided the land of the Shahs 
into Russian and British spheres of interest ; but it did much more than this. 
It marked the partial abandonment of British hostility to Russian policy in 
Asia and removed the risk of collision between the two nations where they 
had been in close and antagonistic contact, not only in Persia, but in Tibet 
and Afghanistan. 


Tibet stands as a tough old morsel that Russia had tried but never suc- 
ceeded in devouring. Great Britain well remembers Russia's last attempt 
to ingratiate herself there. The Petrograd Government employed a number 
of Buriats (Russian Buddhists) to gain ascendency over their Tibetan co- 
religionists, with the view of easing the path for the entrance of the customary 
"spontaneous infiltration" through sacerdotal influences, as was successfully 
done later in Mongolia. The British Foreign Office, observing the Russian 
encroachments, realized with a start that they menaced the Tibetan border 
of India. Over the Himalayas went a body of British troops, and by a quick 
march to Lhassa stopped the Grand Lama from transferring his allegiance 
from the Celestial Emperor to the Great White Czar. 

The Persian treaty ended further danger of such tactics by Russia. 
Therein both powers recognized the suzerain rights of China in Tibet, and 
undertook not to seek concessions of any kind there, nor to send represen- 
tatives to Lhassa, but to conduct with China direct any negotiations that 
might arise. 

Afghanistan was to remain, as before, a sealed road to Russia. She 
recognized that uncertain neighbour of India as outside her sphere of influence, 
and agreed to employ Great Britain as the exclusive intermediary in any 
relations she might seek with the Ameer, instead of employing her own agents. 
Great Britain was committed by the treaty not to encourage Afghanistan to 
take any action that might threaten Russia. But it was remarked that 
Russia made no reciprocal agreement to withdraw her posts at Kushk, Kaiki, 
Kilif, Termez, and other points on the Afghan frontier. However, nothing 
was heard of Russian aggression in that quarter. 



Russia was otherwise engaged and well content with her unimpeded ex- 
propriations in the disorganized empire of the Shah's adjoining Afghanistan. 
Crumbling Persia must be somebody's. Why not Russia's ? For years it 
lay in the hollow of the Muscovite hand. Great Britain, with her maternal 
eye on safeguarding India, and with a garrison at Koweit — an Arab port at 
the head of the Persian Gulf, which she had seized to balk Germany from 
extending the Bagdad Railway there — debated whether to permit the Russian 
paw to close over its prize. If Persia was not Russia's prey, she would be 
Germany's. Great Britain of two evils chose the less, and preferred the 
presence of the Czar's astrakhan caps to the Kaiser's spiked helmets on her 
Hindoo frontiers. Hence the Anglo-Russian treaty which checkmated 
Teutonic designs. 

Long before this understanding Russia, playing a lone hand, had succeeded 


in outreaching both Great Britain and Germany. She thrust heavy loans on 
Persia, which became virtually nailed to the Russian Treasury. The Shah's 
financial vassalage was effected by compelling his ministers to pay off all 
obligations to Great Britain and to negotiate no further loans without Russia's 
sanction. The method of frustrating Germany was no less cavalier, rather 
more so, in fact. The Kaiser had secured a variety of rich concessions, in- 
cluding rights to found a bank, build railways, overlook customs collections, 
administer posts and telegraphs, and exploit mines, forests, and waterways. 
Hearing of this coup, Russia stationed a brigade of Cossacks near the Persian 
frontier, and obtained the instant revocation of the concessions. All Germany 
managed to keep was permission to establish a bank, which was anybody's 
privilege, free to all. 

Russia aimed to reach the Persian Gulf. There was warm water for her 
— the much-prized sea outlet she had sought south for centuries. She planned 
a railroad from the Caucasus to the Gulf and the Anglo-Russian agreement 
concerning Persia enabled her to extend by five hundred miles her right of 
way for building it. Some seven hundred miles had separated her from the 
Gulf, and only England — now her ally — barred her path for the remaining 
two hundred miles. The railroad was designed to run from Erivan (Russia's 
Caucasian railhead before mentioned) through Tabriz, Teheran, Ispahan, 
Yezd, and Bender-Abbas to Chabar, a port on the Indian Ocean long sought 
by Russia. Once there, the Persian Gulf would no longer be a "British 
lake," as it had been boastfully termed. 

The Czar had already exploited Persia. The devices of peaceful penetra- 
tion previously alluded to, employed by an army of his disguised secret agents, 
had established a trade sphere there. With the Anglo-Russian entente came 
Russian troops, who practically dominated the country. The Persians, 
outraged and humiliated, did not readily acquiesce to the parcelling out of 
their soil. Disorders and punitive retaliations were frequent. Russia was 
distrusted, so much so that in 1910, when Persia sorely needed a loan, the 
Government refused one tendered by Russia and her partner, rather than 
consent to the conditions, which were deemed to be too political in motive. 

But Russia contrived to have her way in the end. In 191 1 she declined 
to tolerate the pro-Persian administration of the country's finances by an 
American, W. Morgan Shuster, whom the Shah's government had appointed 
Treasurer-General. Nevertheless, it needed an ultimatum, a movement of 
Russian troops, and a government overturn before Persia consented to his 

And now even Germany's opposition was disposed of. A meeting of the 
Czar and the Kaiser led to a convention, signed in 191 1, by which Germany 
affirmed that she had no political interests in Persia and undertook not to 
extend her commercial interests in Russia's sphere of interest. By the same 


instrument Russia gained the right to a railroad link via Persia with Ger- 
many's Bagdad project, whose completion she engaged not to oppose. 



Turkey looked on with ill-concealed dismay. The integrity and inde* 
pendence of the Ottoman Empire were viewed as dependent on the integrity 
and independence of Persia. The Russian menace to Turkey, always great, 
was intensified by the Russian inroads on the domain of Turkey's neighbour. 
The Turko-Persian frontier was long and until recently not strongly forti- 
fied. Trade relations were close. Both Turkey and Persia were Moslem 
countries. Turkish publicists, mindful of self-preservation, were ardent in 
their exhortations to Persia to stand up against Russia's encroachments. 

The Sublime Porte received a foretaste of them after the Second Balkan 
War, when Russia attempted to impose her will by demanding that Russians 
be appointed to administrative posts in Asiatic Turkey instead of the French, 
English, or German officers, whom the Sultan employed. The Turks not 
unjustly complained that Russia sought to put their Asiatic provinces on a 
par with Persia. 

Turkey's entrance into the World War concentrated Russian designs 
upon her. Constantinople, rather than the emancipation of Serbia, became 
the Czar's object. His manifesto referred to that city as "Czargrad" (Czar's 
city) and expressed the hope that Turkey's action would "open for us a way 
to the solution of the historic problems connected with the Black Sea which 
we have inherited from our ancestors." 

Russian publicists wove dreams that adumbrated wider accessions. Some 
looked for the control of the whole Turkish Empire, including Adrianople and 
Palestine, but excluding Arabia, which they generously deemed to lie outside 
the field of Russian interests. Others saw the need of annexing the eastern 
part of Asia Minor, including Cilicia and the Mediterranean port of Alexan- 
dretta, or proposed to create between the Caucasus and the Mediterranean 
an autonomous Armenian state under the protection of the Czar. 

Whatever Russia's post-bellum position may be, her ante-bellum achieve- 
ments rank her as an empire builder with an unrivalled record. Other nations 
had static frontiers ; they scoured the outside world to extend their dominions. 
Russia's expansion was motivated by a centrifugal force which broke through 
and pushed back her frontiers. To use another figure of speech — Greater 
Russia, unlike Greater Britain, was swept within the borders of the mother 

The map does not disclose her later accessions. When the World War 
came, Manchuria and Mongolia were still part of China, and Persia remained 


Persia. But a half (more or less) of Manchuria, whose three provinces cover 
some 390,000 square miles, was Russianized. Mongolia's area has never been 
definitely ascertained, its administrative limits being too uncertain ; but one 
estimate has placed its size at 1,076,292 square miles, and yet higher estimates 
have been made. Be the area what it may, one of Mongolia's two provinces 
became a Russian appanage, Hke half of the 635,000 square miles of Persia's 

Russification doubtless will not cease. But it will change. Henceforth, 
it will not be dictated and engineered by a calculating Petrograd bureaucracy, 
committed to a policy of marauding the domain of neighbours. In all likeli- 
hood, it will rather be a voluntary hegira, directed by individual enterprise, 
and developing into the easy relationships of an unrestricted frontier, like 
those that flourish on the fringes of the United States and Canada. 



(Correspondent with the Russian Armies) 

The Russian line in Galicia early in May ran in a general way along the 
banks of the Dunajec-Ropa-Biala rivers, extending roughly from the Vistula 
southerly to the spurs of the Carpathians, through which the army of Bru- 
silofF based on Dukla was working its way satisfactorily through the famous 
Dukla Pass. To understand the situation of the Russians it must be realized 
that already the armies of the Czar were beginning to feel the pinch of a short- 
age in ammunition and in miscellaneous material of war. The reason for 
this lack of munitions, especially shells, was not due entirely to incompetence 
and corruption, though undoubtedly glaring defects in the Petrograd bureau- 
cracy played their part, but rather to the fact that the Russians, as well as 
every other belligerent save Germany, had grossly underestimated the quanti- 
ties of material that modern conditions would make necessary. The War 
Office no doubt planned their reserves in shells based on their Manchurian 
experiences, when this war has shown that nearly ten times the amounts have 
been used. This is probably due in large part to the fact that the new Russian 
field gun is a genuine quick-firer with a theoretical speed of more than twenty 
shots a minute. In the early stages of the war I knew of one battery that 
fired 525 rounds of ammunition per gun in a single day, and by spring the pinch 
was already being felt. Russia is not a highly industrial country, and even 
when she mobilized such assets as she had, she could not begin to feed her 
guns. Shut off from the short and convenient routes to the outside world, 
she found that even when material ordered could be shipped her, it must 
still be long and weary weeks before it could reach the firing line. So it was 
that early in May she faced the enemy lines in GaHcia with the realization of 
this problem just dawning on those in authority. On the line from the Vis- 
tula to the Carpathians stood the famous Third Russian Army, commanded 
by the Bulgarian Radko DimitrieflF, who had won fame in the Balkan campaign 
as a military commander. In his front line and immediate reserve he had 
five army corps, or somewhere in the neighbourhood of 200,cx30 troops, for 
the corps were at that time fairly well filled up from earlier losses. 

Thelines running west of Tarnov and before Gorlica had been approximately 
stationary for several months, during which time the enemy had been prac- 
tising with their ajtillery at least twice a day, with the result that on this 



entire front the batteries had the range within a few feet of practically every 
conspicuous object in the landscape which was within their Hne of vision, 
while every turn and twist of the Russian trenches had been verified and 
mapped by the enemy aeroplanes, and ranges ascertained almost to the inch. 
Along toward the end of April the Russian flyers became aware of the concen- 
tration of troops and material in the theatre of operations west of Tarnov. 
Many people have asked me why the Russians did not meet it on the same 
scale. The answer is simple. Though the Russians had millions of men and 
even plenty in uniform and under training, they did not have the rifles to put 
in their hands nor the guns and shells which should give them support. In 
addition the Russian railroad systems were in no way comparable, strategically, 
to those of the Germans and Austrians, and they could not fling masses of 
troops about from one quarter of the empire to another as the Germans have 
been able to do. Besides this, the Russian front, extending from the Baltic 
to the Bukowina, had already absorbed the greater part of the Russian eff"ec- 
tives and they could not easily increase their strength on the Dunajec with- 
out robbing the even more important Warsaw or Courland fronts, on both 
of which the enemy were not entirely inactive. What happened on the Duna- 
jec hne was the first of the great German artillery drives. I cannot, of course, 
verify the statements as to numbers of the enemy, but I give here the figures 
as estimated by the Russians. In addition to a number of Austrian corps 
already on the Galician line, the Germans sent at least six new corps for the 
first blow, while some place the number as high as ten. The sector chosen 
for attack was that lying from Tarnov toward Gorlica. The Russian observers 
quickly detected during the last days of April the till then unheard-of con- 
centration of guns which they estimated to be 2,000 in number on a front of 
forty miles. These guns were said to be grouped in tiers, one battery behind 
another, the heaviest being in the rear. The sizes ranged all the way from the 
regular field artillery up to the heavy Austrian siege guns. It was claimed 
by the Russians that in this host of guns there were 200 of eight inches or 
better. Probably the largest were the Austrian 12-inch Skoda howitzers. 
There was little that the Russians could do to guard against this impending 
avalanche save to wait patiently for the storm to break and do their best 
to outHve the fury of shell and machine-gun fire with the hope that they could 
then repel the infantry attacks which were sure to follow. The storm broke 
on a front of forty miles which was held by three corps, the more particular 
designation of which does not help this story. In two hours the enemy bat- 
teries fired, according to the Russian estimates, 700,000 shells ranging from 
the field shrapnel up to the 12-inch high explosives. The Russians were not 
routed, as the Germans asserted, at all. They simply remained and died. 
The few that tried to retire on supporting lines were caught in the open, where 
every object on the landscape had been ranged on exactly, long before, and 



thousands more were literally swept away. The first line of the Russian de- 
fence was so torn and swept by shell fire that observers say that it could not 
have been recognized as ever having been a line of defence at all. But in spite 
of the fury of the first two hours, the Russians did not then abandon their 
Hnes. We are told that it took between three and four million shells finally 
to weaken them so that the infantry could attack. I have no figures obtain- 
able to indicate what portion of the losses were killed, what portion wounded, 
or what part strayed and were taken prisoners. I do know this, however, that 
when the fragments of the three centre corps, which had numbered 120,000 
at the beginning, were finally pulled together on the San, 100 miles or so 
in the rear, two weeks later, the total strength that rallied around the colours 
did not exceed 12,000. 

The result of this terrible fusillade, in plain language, was to leave a gap 
in the Russian line forty miles across, and through this the Germans and 
Austrians poured like a leak in the dike. Hurriedly rushed-up reserves taken 
from where they could be spared fought a rear-guard action of sorts, destroy- 
ing railroads and bridges, so that the German advance was slowed down to 
not more than three or four miles a day. 

The flanking corps to the north and south of the gap fell back fighting stead- 
fastly against the terrific odds, but as far as I know were not broken. The 
capture of Gorlica and the advance on Dukla threatened the line of com- 
munications of the Eighth Army that was well over the summit of the Car- 
pathians. The Germans, no doubt, figured on bagging this entire army, 
which indeed they might have done but for the skill and brilliancy with which 
Brusiloff pulled his men out of the passes. In spite of all haste one division 
was cut off as it came out, though it succeeded in cutting its way through the 
enemy and rejoining the main body now falling back on Przemysl. In the 
meantime the Russians were furiously preparing for a stand on the San, and 
to gain time threw against the advancing German hosts several corps, among 
which was the famous Third Caucasian, which not only stopped the advance 
for several days but actually advanced ten miles into the German centre before 
it was brought to a standstill. The other armies had been extending their 
flanks as they fell back, and by the time the enemy reached the San they 
found the forty-mile gap closed up and much to their surprise, no doubt, 
saw they were again confronting a solid Russian line, already fairly well dug 
in on the San line of defence. This ended the first phase of the Galician drive. 
To one who knows the true situation the wonder is, not that the Germans 
advanced, but that they did not annihilate the Russian army in Galicia. 
But their chance had gone, and though they had recaptured for Austria a 
large area and had killed and bagged a large number of Russians, the big 
game had slipped through their fingers and the primary object of the blow, 
i.e. the destruction of the Russian army, had failed. 



(Correspondent with the Russian Armies) 

In the modern warfare, with its huge extended fronts, there develops in 
every theatre of operations what might be called the keystone of the strategy 
therein. The breaking of a certain line on a large scale results in the pulling 
out of the keystone of the arch and consequent chaos along the whole line, 
though it may be that but a single army of many has been seriously crippled 
in itself. This is exactly what took place in Galicia. At the inception of 
the movement the three centre corps of the Third Russian Army were prac- 
tically wiped out and the whole Galician line thrown into oscillation. The 
one sector being broken and the one army being thrown back necessitated 
changes in the whole front, even from Warsaw to the Bukowina. The army 
of General Ewerts (the Fourth), which had been standing defiantly for months 
just north of the Vistula on the Nida River, found with the retreat of its 
southern neighbour that its flank was dangerously uncovered. It was obvious 
instantly that for the salvation of the whole line the corps of Ewerts (then 
four in number) must commence a retirement which would always keep the 
flanking corps in touch with the nearest corps of the army to its left. So 
immediately after the Galician drive Ewerts began to fall regretfully back in 
what one might call a sympathetic movement. As I was in this army several 
times during this movement I can speak with some degree of accuracy of 
what the Germans advertised as a rout. I have been in all of Ewerts's Fourth 
Army Corps, except one, and have talked with officers and men from all of 
these units. There was not one but insisted that this army not only was not 
compelled by any local situation to retreat, but that had it been operating 
without any connection with the line as a whole, it could actually have ad- 
vanced. It is too late in the war to go in for a detailed discussion of the 
tactics of Ewerts's retreat, which is stale history now. Suffice it to say, how- 
ever, that while the Fourth Army was changing its front to a more easterly 
position, two of its corps alone accounted for more than 25,000 German and 
Austrian casualties and prisoners, with a loss to themselves of less than half 
that amount. The Germans who rushed on with the idea that the road to 
Moscow lay open before them kept running into the rear guards of Ewerts, 
who were literally being dragged back by a leash due to orders of the Great 



General StaiF, and at every contact the Russians, regardless of orders, broke 
loose and landed blow after blow on tbe Germans and Austrians, first in one 
place pnd then in another. So much, then, may be said for the "rout" of 
Ewerts. The Third Army, standing on the ill-fated line of the'Dunajec, 
was, as I have described, practically wiped out, and its disaster was responsible 
for the whole retreat. The next army was the Eighth, commanded by the 
dashing cavalry officer, BrusilofF, who never until this time had been obliged 
to retire. This army was caught half way through the passes of the Car- 
pathians, and in the disaster of its northern neighbour its right flank was ex- 
posed and badly crumbled, but, by extending its front to the north and pull- 
ing together at Przemysl, it was able to check the momentum of the onrushing 
Germans on the San. We are invited to believe b}^ the Central Powers that 
the San battle was a pitched one and that both it and the ones that fol- 
lowed on the old Grodek line and around Lemberg were great victories. The 
facts of the case are, and I speak with the authority of the highest command 
in Galicia, that from the first day's fighting on the San it was decided by the 
Russians practically to give up Galicia for the moment. The Germans and 
Austrians were receiving reinforcements hourly, and a definite stand at any 
point meant a combat under conditions favourable to the Germans, and an 
invitation to them to deHver a crushing blow. The want of ammunition had 
already become acute, and I know of certain Russian batteries on the San at 
this time that had not more than a score of rounds of ammunition to the gun. 
Przemysl was not in a state of defence, as repairs on the works destroyed by 
the Austrians before the surrender to the Russians in March had not yet been 
completed. Holding Przemysl, then, was like trying to hold a ruin, and when 
the Germans began to bring up their heavy guns, the holding of the fortress 
was not even considered by the Russian higher command. Reinforcements 
were not available to the Muscovites on an important scale, while the whole 
railroad system of Germany was working overtime that the Galician blow 
might not falter. One in Germany at this time stated that for days on end 
the railroad lines of eastern Germany were flooded with troops moving east- 
ward and wounded coming back from Galicia. This witness stated that for 
the three consecutive days in which he had opportunity to make observations, 
there was a doubleheaded train passing eastward every fifteen minutes loaded 
to the roof with troops and munitions. The Russian information brought 
the same news. It was quite obvious, then, that it was the Russian policy 
to withdraw, fighting a rear-guard action, and inflicting the biggest loss that 
they could without risking their army to a crushing defeat. From the San 
until the present writing the Galician armies have never been seriously en- 
dangered. The Dunajec drive, as I have shown, was the result of the enor- 
mous concentration of artillery and months of practice preceding it, which 
had secured the accurate ranges. Neither on the San nor at any other point 


did the Germans have the opportunity to bring up any such mass of guns. 
As soon as their concentrations, looking toward a repetition of the early May 
movement, began to gather head, the Russians retired. It was evident that 
the balance would come sooner or later, when the lengthened German lines 
and the shortened Russian communications would adjust the scales and bring 
the whole line to a standstill once more. Thus it was that the Russians held 
Przemysl and the San line for a while and took a large toll of casualties 
from the enemy, and just as they were in a position to be rushed, fell back 
only to make a second stand on the so-called Grodek line, the scene of the 
Austrian defeat of the preceding September campaign. When the Germans 
had massed their formations and artillery for a crushing blow on this line, 
the Russians fell back on Lemberg, and after repeating their tactics before the 
Gahcian capital, again retired to the so-called Krasne line, where they re- 
mained for several months, having safely eluded the momentum of the main 
German blow. In the meantime there had been two other armies to the 
east engaged in this movement. The neighbour of BrusilofF was the Eleventh 
Army, which retired from its advanced Carpathian position, from which it 
was threatening the Hungarian plain, to the Dneister River, then to the 
Gnila Lipa position, and later to the Zlota Lipa and a httle farther east to 
what is approximately its position to-day.* This army was widely adver- 
tised as a ruined and routed organization. The commander told me himself 
that in the six weeks of his retreat his army had taken more than 56,000 
prisoners, not to speak of the losses he inflicted in killed and wounded. That 
he lost heavily in stragglers and casualties of his own is probably true, but the 
loss he inflicted was without doubt greater than his own. His neighbour army 
to the eastward was the Ninth. I spent a week in this army during the last 
days of the retreat and was at the positions in many places. Every man I 
talked with denied that this force had been defeated locally, and without 
exception every officer I talked with stated emphatically that it could advance 
any day against its own enemy but for the orders of the higher command. 
This forced it to retreat to keep in touch with the Eleventh, which (as I have 
shown) came back to be in touch with the Eighth, whose flank in turn had been 
exposed by the destruction of the Third Army, the keystone of the whole line. 
I am inclined to take the statements made me in the Ninth Army, because 
the records show that it was actually advancing daily in the Bukowina theatre 
of operations for eight or ten days after the Germans were driving through in 
Western Galicia. The news of the first week in January, 1916, from the 
Russian front shows the capacity of this army, which has been bearing the 
brunt of the fighting on the recent Russian off"ensive, and indicates that the 
assertions made to me in July were not ill-founded ; for the moment the higher 
command unleashed this army it at once poured back into the very theatre of 
* March i, 1916. 


operations from which it had retired in the summer. In regard to the assertions 
of the number of prisoners taken I must admit that these were obtained from 
Russian sources which naturally never minimize their own prowess. I am 
inclined to accept it at par, however, due to the fact that I personally saw 
over 6,000 prisoners taken in three days during the retreat toward Tarnopol in 
early July from the scene of the fighting around the Gnila and Zlota Lipa, 
both of which, by the way, were heralded in the German press as great Austro- 
German victories. 






It was in 191 5. Two officers of the Russian army sat with two women at 
a table in a cafe in Warsaw. They were eating, and drinking, and laughing, 
and making eyes at one another, all pleasantly and harmlessly enough, for 
their food was the food of the country, and their making eyes was the custom 
of the country, and their merriment was the merriment of youth. But what 
they were drinking was wine. 

An officer came into the cafe — an officer tall and thin, more than six feet 
by several inches, and very erect and military in appearance. He wore a 
long gray overcoat and wide gold shoulder straps, and at his neck there 
glittered a cross. His eyes were coldly blue. His pointed beard was streaked 
with white. He carried a riding crop in his hand and was booted and spurred. 

The cafe was full of officers and, as he entered, every one of them rose 
quickly to his feet and stood rigidly at salute. The two young officers who 
were sitting with the women jumped up, too, and came to salute. The women 
sat, rather frightened, in their chairs. 

The tall bearded officer with the glittering cross looked about the room 
keenly and quickly. He returned the salutes. Then he walked to the table 
where the two young officers were sitting with the women. He reached down 
and took one of the glasses, held it to his nose an instant, and then threw 
it to the floor, where it broke to fragments at the feet of one of the young men. 

"Vina!" he said sternly. 

The two officers, grown gray with fear, trembled as they stood before him. 
The tall man looked at them with infinite disgust. He reached out, tore off" 
their shoulder straps and threw them on the floor. Then he turned and said 
a few words in harsh Russian. Some soldiers came forward and surrounded 
the young men. The tall man made a gesture that meant "Take them 
away," and the two officers were marched from the room. They were de- 
graded. They were sent to the ranks to serve as private soldiers. 

The tall man with the pointed beard streaked with white, the cold blue 
eyes, and the glittering cross, was the Grand Duke Nikolai, then commander- 
in-chief of the Russian army. By imperial ukase drinking had been pro- 
hibited in the Russian Empire, owing largely to the demand of the Grand 




Duke on the Czar that drinking should be stopped, because of the need for a 
sober army in the struggle impending. These young men had broken the 
rule. They had disobeyed not only the ukase of the Czar but also the order 
of the Commander-in-chief. Moreover, they had done their drinking publicly. 
He found them. Instantly he deprived them of their rank and sent them to 
the trenches. 

The inner history of the Russian campaign is full of instances like this and 
of instances where the punishment was far greater. Nikolai was at that 
time the hope of Russia. He was credited with being practically a dictator. 
He headed the army. He dominated the Czar and the Government. In- 
tensely Russian in his patriotism, he is quite non-Russian in many of his 
tendencies. The leisurely za^//ra— to-morrow — has no place in his vocabu- 
lary. He is quick, decisive, determined, imperative, stern. 

In the ill-fated campaigns of 191 5, which were followed by his removal 
from the supreme command, he demanded the last drop of blood, the last 
ounce of effort. He drove his soldiers to death without a thought save that 
of victory. He used men not as human beings but as implements of warfare. 
Why not ? He had men in plenty, but the traitorous pro-German bureaucrats 
at Petrograd failed to supply him adequately with most of the other neces- 
saries of war. 

He is the highest type of a cultured Russian aristocrat — than whom there 
is no more agreeable man — and affable and hospitable; but in war and in 
discipline he is terrible. 

This war has developed some great men and will, doubtless, develop 
others. There is Joffre, for example, but Joffre was at the head of the French 
army for several years before the war began. He was somewhat of a known 
quantity. So was Kitchener and so were some of the German generals. 
But this man, Nikolai Nikolaivitch, although always a soldier, was merely 
the military governor of the Petrograd district when the order came for mobili- 
zation. He is of the imperial family. His father was an uncle of Alexander 
III, the father of the Czar. He was born in 1856 and for some reason had no 
part in the Russo-Japanese War, although he served with his father in the 
Russo-Turkish War when a youth of twenty-one. 

He was neither famous in his own country nor known much outside of it. 
Suddenly, in the emergency, he flared out on the military horizon. He was 
made commander-in-chief of the Russian army. Indeed, he practically 
took command himself. The war was not under way a month before his 
supreme military genius had asserted itself. Soon, despite his severity, his 
coldness, his iron discipline, his ferocity in the use of his men, he came to be 
worshipped by the rank and file of the army. For though stern and strict, 
he was also strong and honest and just. And instinctively the soldiers 
recognized this. 


There has never been any nonsense about Nikolai Nikolaivitch — none of 
the dreamy frivohty that is the general characteristic of the Russian people. 
He is given neither to imagination nor to sentiment. He is a hard, practical, 
austere, exacting man, who hesitates at nothing to get results. He operates 
as he wills. In the old days the ministry and the Czar used to have their say. 
He would listen gravely and do as he pleased. He always scorned the bureau- 
crats and had a habit of pushing governmental advisers aside. The common 
soldiers regarded him as a sort of supernatural person, a demigod, far more 
than as a commander-in-chief. "The Czar is the Little Father. Yes, but 
this man, Nikolai Nikolaivitch, is almost the Great Father." When you 
understand that a Russian officer always calls his men "My children" you 
will appreciate the attitude to their commander of the millions of Russian 
soldiers whom he led to defeat and death in the summer of 191 5. They knew 
he was not to blame, that he had been betrayed, and so — trusting him still — - 
won victories with him a few weeks later in the Caucasus, whither he had 
been sent in disgrace, when Nicholas — the Very Little Father — grandilo- 
quently assumed the supreme command of his armies. 

His discipline at his headquarters and with his personal staff was as rigid 
and uncompromising as with his armies in the field. "You are here for war," 
he used to tell his officers, "not for amusement nor for relaxation." He 
never allowed them to play cards, even for small stakes. If time hung heavily 
on their hands, he would suggest that they study tactics or maps, or make re- 
ports, or occupy themselves usefully. There was none of the Russian luxury 
about his headquarters. The officers all lived simply and regularly. A man 
who was the guest of the Grand Duke for a day or so, came in with him one 
night after a long, weary day of inspection. The Grand Duke told his orderly 
to fetch a bottle of brandy. 

"Hah," thought the visitor, "now I shall see some of this great drinking 
by the Russians that I have heard about all my life. Probably he will take 
this entire bottle of brandy at one sitting." 

The orderly brought the brandy, the tall glasses, and the mineral water, 
and the visitor poured out a good-sized jigger for himself, for he was nearly 
done up. He watched the Grand Duke, thinking he would consume one of 
those gigantic drinks the novelists tell us that the Russians like. Instead, 
the Grand Duke took a teaspoon, carefully measured out one spoonful of 
brandy and poured it into his mineral water. Then he sent back the bottle 
to his private chest. That represented all of the drinking done in those head- 
quarters that night. 

Everybody knows now how he was hampered in his work for Russia. He 
lacked ammunition, because of the eternal procrastination of the bureaucrats 
in Petrograd. He lacked rifles for his soldiers. Sometimes he was obliged to 
send them out armed only with oaken cudgels. He lacked supplies. He 


was forced to wait for endless hours for maintenance and munitions for his 
soldiers while government officials dickered and delayed and quibbled and 
grafted in Petrograd. He was handicapped bj' insufficient care for his 
wounded. He lost thousands by disease and by cold. He had inefficient 
generals. He was compelled to retire. He was whelmed by disaster, but 
never overwhelmed, although he knew that there were thousands on thousands 
of tons of essentials for his campaigns piled up in Archangel, in Petrograd, at 
Tornea — supplies that would have helped him win victories. 

Despite sickening discouragement he fought on grimly, and held his 
men steadily to their bloody work. He held himself above the intrigue of 
Petrograd, above the sinister and conflicting influences of that partly German, 
partly Russian court, and tried to ignore them. Perhaps he was unwise to do 
so, yet we cannot but admire him for his attitude of high nobility, which 
despised all this meanness and treachery. 

Ever since the war began there has been common talk in Russia, and 
especially in Petrograd, of the German influence in the court. She who was the 
Czarina is a German. Many of the camarilla, the unofficial government — the 
court retainers — were of German descent. In one of the embassies of the 
Powers I heard the story, which I had heard elsewhere, of the pathetic cry of 
the little Czarevitch : 

"When the Germans win papa cries, and when the Russians win mamma 

Always, the embassies say, and the men who know the inner news of Petro- 
grad say, the Czar was subjected to pressure for peace, for an arrangement 
with Germany. Always he was urged to depose the Grand Duke Nikolai. 
Once, a few months after the war started, these stories became so insistent, 
the information concerning the intrigues of the German influences within the 
court became so definite, that the Grand Duke left his headquarters and came 
to the palace where the Czar was staying. 

"I hear constant talk of peace," he said. "I hear story after story that 
the pro-German influences at this court are having their effect on you. I 
want to know if these reports are true ?" 

We may imagine that the Czar was at a loss for a reply. And the Grand 
Duke continued: — "There will be no peace until Russia and her allies have 
won this war. If there should be any move for peace in this court, if there 
should be any negotiations for peace without the full assent and cooperation 
of our allies, there will be another czar. You are the head of the Government 
but I am the head of the army, and the army will follow me wherever I choose 
to lead it." 

That settled the matter for the time being. Neither could anticipate the 
catastrophe that was later to overwhelm all parties in Russia. 

Another story has been told illustrative of the Grand Duke's relations 



with the Czar. There was a time when the Czar, who made frequent visits 
to the front and to the General Headquarters, decided he would replace cer- 
tain generals with others of his own choosing. He brought a trainload 
of these favoured warriors and of others in his suite down to headquarters. 
The Grand Duke was waiting, and greeted the Czar as the latter stepped off 
the train. He took the Czar by the arm and walked with him along the plat- 
form. They talked of the war and of the army and of the campaign then 

And while they walked, some of the soldiers locked all the doors in the 
train and other soldiers hitched on a new engine. The word was given, and 
the train pulled out with every general and every retainer locked in it. It 
went back to Petrograd. 

"The train has gone !" exclaimed the Czar. 

"Yes," said the Grand Duke, "but another for Your Majesty's use will be 

"But those who came with me ?" persisted the Czar. 

"They have returned with the train to Petrograd," answered the Grand 
Duke. "They were not needed here. Come, let me take you to my quar- 
ters, where we can talk quietly." The Czar took the more than hint. 

In Russia, as in the other countries at war, among the women there has 
been a great emotional desire to be of service. Thousands of them volunteered 
for nursing and thousands of them of high and low degree have given their 
services, have done the work of caring for the wounded and have done every- 
thing else, down to the commonest drudgery, because they wanted to be of 
help to the country. The patriotism and the self-sacrifice and the patient, 
uncomplaining toil of the women in Russia, as in the other war-stricken coun- 
tries, have been, and are, among the sublimely heroic features of these years 
of misery and death. 

But in Russia, as in other countries, there were many v/omen who, not 
appreciating the character of the services required, and merely from a shallow 
emotionalism, volunteered as nurses, more for the purpose of wearing the 
uniform and talking of what they were doing than because they sincerely 
wanted to help. They volunteered without knowing what they were expected 
to do, without any knowledge of nursing save that the Russian nurse's head- 
dress is becoming to almost any type of beauty. 

A bevy of these women offered their services to the Grand Duke. He 
needed nurses, and he needed many nurses, but he wanted nurses, not society 
women who thought it would be interesting and romantic to hold the hand of 
a suffering soldier but had no idea of scrubbing floors or of sanitation or 
of all the hundreds of things nurses, and especially a war nurse, must know. 
So the Grand Duke told one detachment of them to come to a certain place 
where he would meet them and assign them to their duties. 


They came, a fluttering lot of amateur ministering angels, and presented 
themselves as directed. The Grand Duke looked them over. There were 
about a hundred in the lot. He lined them up and made a speech to them. 

"Ladies," he said, "I appreciate, and so do my soldiers, and so does our 
country, the patriotic and heroic impulse that has caused you to offer your- 
selves as nurses. We need nurses. This war is very terrible and there is 
much suffering to be alleviated. I shall be glad of your services." 

The ladies all fluttered and were so glad and so interested and so anxious 
to go right into the hospital and make things easier for the poor, dearsoldiers. 

" But," continued the Grand Duke, "in nursing, as in every other line of 
service, there are several divisions of labor. For example, we have officers 
to nurse and we have private soldiers to nurse. Now, of course, you ladies 
will have a preference. So I shall allow you to make your choice. All those 
of you who would prefer to nurse officers will please step over to this side, 
and those of you who are willing to nurse the private soldier will please step 
over to this side. I leave the choice to you. Of course it will be pleasanter, 
perhaps, to nurse the officers than the common soldiers but the common sol- 
diers must be nursed too, you understand. Those who prefer to nurse officers 
on this side, if you please, and those on this side who are wiUing to go into 
the wards where the private soldiers are placed." 

The ladies divided themselves. All but about twenty of them thought 
that it would be much nicer and more interesting to serve their country by 
nursing handsome officers rather than peasants who were privates. But 
twenty said that they were willing to nurse the private soldiers, the peasants 
who had been wounded. 

Whereupon the Grand Duke bundled back to Petrograd the ladies who 
wanted to nurse officers, and kept the twenty who really had a sincere desire 
to do something more for their country than wear a becoming headdress and 
sit about the cafes in it. That is a sample of the way the Grand Duke does 

Early in the war, when the Germans were first pressing on to Warsaw, it 
seemed as if they might then gain a decisive victory there. At any rate 
there was considerable apprehension among the Russian officers as to the re- 
sult. It was thought that Warsaw could not be defended successfully. That 
is, there was a certain number of responsible officers who held this view, and 
the idea of abandoning Warsaw was seriously discussed by them. 

The question grew to be one of such grave importance that the Grand 
Duke called a council of war one day for the purpose of going over the situa- 
tion. He invited many officers to this council. When they had assembled 
he asked for views on the situation. Though he did not say so he gave the 
impression that he himself was not so sure that it would not be good strategy 
to abandon Warsaw and move back. He said nothing directly, but, as it is 


told in Russia, he gave that impression by his attitude and perhaps from a 
remark now and then. He invited the fullest and freest discussion. He even 
went so far as to say some things himself to encourage free speaking. 

Emboldened by this apparent indecision of the Grand Duke the officers 
who wanted to fall back went the limit. Moreover, to the great surprise of 
many of those present, two or three generals who were known to be very 
close to the Grand Duke himself advanced views that were favourable to retire- 
ment. Some of these generals said things that, if the Germans had heard them, 
might have had a tendency to hurry the Germans along toward Warsaw. The 
discussion continued for a long time. Then the Grand Duke reserved decision. 

After the council had adjourned, the Grand Duke, who had previously 
instructed some of the generals whom he could trust to say what they did say, 
called together the men who were for sticking to Warsaw and told them that 
there wasn't the remotest chance that he would move out of Warsaw or take 
any steps to abandon it. He said he had merely called the council to hear 
what he might hear and see what he might see. He told the assembled fighters 
to be ready to repulse a German attack that he was sure would come after 
some things that had been said at that meeting, and he gave orders that 
meant nothing but the holding of Warsaw and the determined assault on any 
Germans who might be coming that way. 

It wasn't long after that meeting that the Germans began a very formi- 
dable movement toward Warsaw. In fact, it was only as long as might be 
necessary for a report of the speeches at that meeting and a report of the pro- 
posals made and of the information there presented to get back to the Ger- 
mans, and so enable them to organize their forward movement. Nor was 
it very long before quite a number of Russian officers, mostly those who had 
proposed that Warsaw should be abandoned, disappeared from the active 
Hsts of the army. There are various conjectures as to what happened to 
them. One conjecture is as good as another, but the Grand Duke is a very 
stern and a very ruthless man. 

Anecdotes are legion of him whom it is still most convenient to call the 
Grand Duke. Let us narrate one more incident which occurred in the summer 
of 1916, during one of the innumerable German diplomatic campaigns for a sep- 
arate peace with Russia. To defeat it the Grand Duke journeyed to Petrograd, 
where one day the notorious monkish charlatan, Rasputin, called upon him. 

"Your Excellency," he said, "last night St. George appeared to me and 
importuned me to deliver a message to you." 

"Exactly," repHed the Grand Duke, "he appealed to me, too, and told me 
the message." 

Rasputin was much put out by this unexpected answer, but yet concluded 
to go ahead. 


"He said that the only way to save Russia was by a separate peace." 

"That was not the message he gave me," said the Grand Duke, reaching 
for his riding whip. "St. George said I was to kill you if I wanted to save 
Russia. However, I shall leave that to others and compromise by thrashing 
you," — and he did so most thoroughly. . . . 

Six months later the body of this intriguing favourite of the superstitious 
Czar was found floating in the Neva. But he had accomphshed so much evil 
in these six months, that one must blame the Grand Duke for not having 
carried out the Saint's orders to the letter. 

Before closing this comment on Nikolai Nikolaivitch, let me quote what 
Marshal JofFre said about him while the disastrous campaigns of 191 5 were in 
progress, and before his later success in the Caucasus : 

"The sanity of his strategical conceptions and the bravery and heroism 
of his troops have secured for Russian arms the prestige they lost in the un- 
fortunate Russo-Japanese war. He has had to fight with an army that had 
not finished its remodelling when the war broke out, and that had all the dis- 
advantage of a poor railway system; and, on the whole, he has fought well 
and rendered the Allies incomparable service. At the critical time of the 
German advance on Paris he risked a small army in East Prussia in order to 
deflect some of the German masses, and by such unselfishness contributed 
his share to the salvation of Paris." 

Practically nothing is known of the present status of the Grand Duke's 
affairs. We have been told that the Czar, previous to his own abdication, 
reinstated him in the supreme command of the army. There are reports, 
which we may well believe, that he urged the troops to shun a separate peace 
and to fight on ; that the provisional government decided that no Romanoff 
should command the army ; and tha,t he has stated that a return to the con- 
ditions of the old regime is impossible. 

A plot to make him czar was discovered through the arrest of the Grand 
Duchess Marie Pavlovna. He may or may not have been privy to this. 

Many who know most of Russian affairs have stated that he alone of all 
Russians — had he been given the opportunity — could have held the army 
together during the recent succession of crises. 

It has even been suggested that he be called from retirement and tendered 
a position upon our own General Staff. 

There have been reports of his arrest, and these reports have been denied. 
It has been stated that he has placed himself at the head of the Cossacks 
and is committed to an attempt to re-estabhsh the monarchy. 

At this writing we cannot know the true state of his affairs. But this we 
can be sure of: if the Big Man of Russia still has life and liberty, he is doing 
whatever he believes to be best calculated to redeem his country from the 
ruin which has come upon her. 



On the night of August 29, 1914, a German writer strolled into the office 
of a newspaper of Hamburg to learn the news from the front. The day's bul- 
letin of the General Staff had just arrived, with the following passage : 

"Our troops in Prussia under the command of Colonel-General von Hin- 
denburg have defeated, after three days' fighting in the region of Gilgen- 
burg and Ortelsburg, the Russian Narew Army, consisting of five army corps 
and three cavalry divisions, and are now pursuing it across the frontier." 

The editor tousles his hair upon reading this, reaches for the army list 
to see who Hindenburg is, finds that he has been a commanding-general, but is 
now retired and living at Hanover. Then he addresses his visitor : "Tell me, 
how does this man from Hanover come to be in command of the Eastern Army .'' 
What has happened .? Hangs his silk hat on a peg, seizes the baton of a 
commanding-general, and beats the Russians in a trice. — Now tell me, to 
whom shall I telegraph to find out something about this man ?" 

The incident is typical, for it was no more true of Byron himself than of 
Hindenburg that he awoke one morning and found himself famous. He was 
known very favourably indeed in the higher army circles, and civiHans in towns 
where he had held appointments remembered him as an agreeable gentleman 
with a high reputation for military capacity. But the great masses of the 
people, hke that Hamburg editor, were asking : Who is Hindenburg .? The 
writer's own experience illustrates the suddenness with which the name 
broke upon the German people : although he had lived for more than twenty 
years in Germany and had been a dihgent reader of the newspapers during 
all that time, he was not able to recall, when he read the war bulletin of August 
29, that he had ever heard of Hindenburg. 

And how did "this man from Hanover" come to be in command.? He 
himself gives this answer : 

"A few weeks ago I was living on my pension at Hanover. Of course, 
I had tendered my services immediately after the war broke out; but since 
then I had heard nothing. The uncertainty of waiting seemed endless, and 
after a few weeks I had given up all hope of being reinstated in the army. 
Then suddenly came a despatch informing me that His Majesty had given 
me the command of the Eastern Army. I had time only to get together the 



most necessary articles of clothing and have my old uniform put in condition 
for service." 

Late that night — it was August 22 — an extra train came through with his 
chief of staff and bore him to the east. He arrived at the front on the follow- 
ing afternoon. As he knew the military features of the East Prussian country 
thoroughly, he was not long in fixing his plan of battle. Only three days 
later the battle of Tannenberg began. (So the Germans call it, not because 
the village of that name figured in any marked way in the fighting, but for 
the sentimental reason that it was the scene of another battle of Tannenberg 
five hundred years ago, in which the old Teutonic Knights were crushingly 
defeated by the Poles.) 

During the next few days after the pubhcation of that bulletin the victory 
took on unheard-of proportions. Never had so many prisoners been taken in 
an open battle. It eclipsed Sedan in that respect, and the battle-ground 
was fourfold greater than that one. According to the first reports the pris- 
oners numbered 30,000, but the number rose steadily for several days and 
finally exceeded 90,000. The victory was so immense that the German offi- 
cial reports were received with incredulity abroad. The editor of a New 
York newspaper treated them as examples of "German romancing"; and 
when a few days later Hindenburg defeated and drove across the frontier 
another great Russian army, taking 30,000 prisoners, that editor regarded 
the report of this battle as merely a correction of the previous reports, as 
an admission that the figures of prisoners taken had been padded. "First it 
was 30,000, then 60,000, later it jumped to 90,000, only to be finally put 
back to 30,000." 

But Hindenburg continued to strain the faith of foreign editors. In the 
series of battles fought during the Polish campaign he captured 130,000, 
and in the so-called "Winter's battle" — the name given to the nine days' 
fighting in February in East Prussia and across the Russian frontier — he 
eclipsed his own achievement at Tannenberg by taking 104,000 prisoners. 
Within a half year after he assumed command of the Eastern Army he had 
taken about 500,000 prisoners, and the killed and wounded certainly exceeded 
that number. Hindenburg is quoted as saying that in the battle of Tannen- 
berg alone at least 80,000 Russians were killed or drowned in the Masurian 
lakes and marshes. 

This is a record of losses without parallel in the annals of warfare. In 
any previous war they would have meant irreparable defeat for the country 
that suffered them, a complete breakdown of its mihtary position. That they 
have not meant this in the present case must be attributed to the unparalleled 
numbers that Russia has brought into the field, to the vastness of the theatre 
of war, and to the difficulties of moving troops in midwinter. But the results 
as they stand are certainly great enough to insure Hindenburg a permanent 


place among the world's great military commanders. It is therefore only 
natural that foreign countries have taken up the question raised in Germany 
last August : Who is Hindenburg ? The writer has been asked to give an 
answer to that question. 


The field-marshal's full name is Paul Ludwig Hans Anton von Beneck- 
endorff und von Hindenburg. He is thus twice a nobleman — and thereby 
hangs a tale. The Beneckendorffs, while belonging to the lower aristocracy, 
are among the most ancient of Prussian famihes, the name occurring for the 
first time in documentary form more than six hundred years ago. The field- 
marshal really holds a better title to it than to that of Von Hindenburg, which 
is of much more recent origin. He came by the second name in this way : his 
great-grandfather, a Von Beneckendorff, received in 1789 the legal right to 
add it to his own name, in order to comply with the wish of a great-uncle. 
This latter was a Von Hindenburg, the last of the name, who, in bequeathing 
his landed estates to his young kinsman, asked that he add the Hindenburg 
name to his own. In the lapse of time the Hindenburg half has become much 
more prominent than the older Beneckendorff half. The field-marshal now 
signs himself simply Von Hindenburg — probably an expression of his love 
of simplicity, his dishke of high-sounding pretensions. 

And Hindenburg is also a soldier pure and simple. He has devoted his 
whole life to the military profession, and he loves and believes in it with all 
his heart. He comes too of a family of soldiers and grew up in a distinctly 
military atmosphere. His father had thirty years of service to his credit 
as an officer when he retired ; and many others of his line were officers. His 
mother was the daughter of an army surgeon. Even his first nurse had held a 
sutler's post in the army, and it was her habit to cut short his infant waihngs 
with the stern command, "Silence in the company !" And the httle boy had 
a mihtary bent from the start. The field-marshal has recently narrated that 
he still remembers how, when he was four years old, an aged gardener on the 
family estate, who had been a drummer boy under Frederick the Great and had 
taken part in Napoleon's disastrous retreat from Russia, used to delight him 
with his tales of war. Somewhat later the child was ever appeahng to his 
grandmother to "tell me something about the war" — referring to the 
Napoleonic wars; and it was his habit, after having been stowed away for 
the night, to creep to the foot of the bed in order to hear better what his 
father was reading aloud to his mother. In those days too it was his joy to 
trot along by the side of his father's company while the men were drilling, 
drinking delight of battle by anticipation. 

After a few years in a private school at Glogau, where the famijy was then 
living, he was sent away to a cadet school, as the lowest military schools 


are called in Germany. This was located at Wahlstatt in Silesia, where Blii- 
cher had his headquarters during the battle of the Katzbach — for all Germans 
one of the most cherished memories of the struggle against Napoleon. Hin- 
denburg has recently recalled the fact that his windows at the school looked 
out over this field of battle. From those years at Wahlstatt we have another 
fact curiously illustrating the miHtary leanings of the boy's mind. Writing 
to his parents, he sketches the following plan for decorating a shelf in his 
wardrobe: "At the rear a big Prussian eagle on the wall; in the centre, on 
an elevation, 'Old Fritz' and his generals; at the foot of the elevation a 
number of Black Hussars ; in front a chain with cannon posted behind it, 
more in the foreground two watchman's booths, with two grenadiers of the 
time of Frederick the Great." But close upon the description of this military 
shrine he sets down among his Christmas wishes a name that shows his kin- 
ship in spirit with American boys — Cooper's "Pathfinder." 

A few years later we find him trying to prevail upon a younger brother to 
adopt the soldier's career, "which would make us all very happy." When the 
Danish War broke out in 1864, he was a pupil at the chief Cadet House in 
Berlin, but not yet quite old enough to go into the war. It was with an 
evident feeling of envy that he reported to his parents the achievements of the 
older cadets, who had received commissions and had been sent to the front. 
His turn came two years later, with the outbreak of the war with Austria. 
Then eighteen and a half years old, he received a lieutenant's commission and 
at once joined the army. His mental state at that time is reflected in the 
following words written to his parents: "I rejoice in this bright-coloured 
future; for the soldier war is the normal state of things ; and, moreover, I am 
in the hands of God. If I fall it is the most honourable and beautiful death." 
The ardent young fellow thought it was "high time that the Hindenburgs 
smelt powder again ; unfortunately they have been singularly neglected in 
that respect." 

And he got what he was thirsting for. After the battle of Koniggratz 
(Sadowa) he wrote to his parents thus : "I gratified my longings on the battle- 
field — smelt powder, heard whistling around me projectiles of all kinds — 
shells, shrapnel, canister, rifle-bullets ; I was slightly wounded, thus becoming 
an interesting person; and I captured five cannon." He goes on to tell that 
a bullet penetrated the eagle of his helmet, grazing his head and leaving him 
prostrated on the ground, while his faithful men gathered around him, thinking 
him dead. That helmet still adorns the walls of the field-marshal's work- 
room, after having been preserved by his parents for years as a sacred relic, 
with an appropriate Bible verse attached to the eagle. 

Hindenburg's next military experience was in the Franco-Prussian War. 
He took part in some of its bloodiest battles. In the fighting about Metz 
he was in the famous storming of St. Privat, where two German battalions 


were reduced to one-fifth of their strength, and nearly three-fourths of the 
officers were killed. After this terrible affair he wrote thus to his parents : 
"God's mercy visibly shielded me. ... I did not once dismount from my 
horse, and I only got a mitrailleuse bullet through the leg of my boot. ... I 
do not myself understand how I could keep so cool throughout the whole 
action. I often looked at my watch and jotted down in my notebook at once 
all the phases of the fighting." He also fought at Sedan and was before 
Paris throughout the siege. 

Two years later we find him at the War Academy in Berlin, where German 
officers are fitted for higher military careers. His going there, however, 
appears not to have been due to his own initiative ; like many others who had 
enjoyed the active life of campaigning in France, he apparently had no great 
desire to return to books and a desk. His brother, who has written a brief 
sketch of the field-marshal's life, reports that he went under the persuasion of 
his parents, especially his mother. She had a deep influence upon his char- 
acter, was ever spurring him on to the rigid performance of duty and holding 
up to him a high ideal of patriotism. His interest in his calling, however, 
had evidently not flagged, as is evident from a glimpse that we get of him as 
a student of the War Academy, supplied by General von Pochhammer, who 
was then professor of field fortifications there. At first, says Pochhammer, he 
was "driven almost to desperation" by the fact that Lieutenant von Hinden- 
burg, occupying a front seat, would spread out a General Staff map on his 
desk and begin studying it as soon as the lecture failed to interest him, — 
a thing that was quite contrary to the regulations. He would draw circles 
and make liberal use of his pencil, evidently directing the movement of troops 
and measuring artillery effects. The professor thereupon resolves to win 
attention by improving his lectures, by discarding his notes, and speaking 
directly to the big lieutenant. Apparently he succeeded, for later, when 
a military problem was to be solved, he appointed Hindenburg to the imaginary 
post of staff officer to Oudinot. A quiet earnestness was regarded by the 
professor as the leading feature of Hindenburg's character as a student. 

During the forty years that followed the Franco-Prussian War, Hinden- 
burg was working out, quietly and with great diligence, his military education, 
rising from one post of responsibility to another in the army, and broadening 
his grasp of military problems. In 1881-83 we find him at Konigsberg as 
staff officer to a division. At that time he began his military studies of the 
Masurian Lake region, and he drew the plans for army manoeuvres in the very 
country where he had later to do battle with shot and shell. His appoint- 
ments took him to widely separate parts of the Empire, and carried him 
through the most varied ranges of military work — gave him, in short, the 
best opportunities to prepare himself for the work that he is now doing. Be- 
sides being a staff officer in all the various capacities, he rose through all the 


various grades of troop commander, and finally reached the rank of com- 
manding general in 1903 — the summit of a German general's hopes in times 
of peace. In 191 1, being then sixty-four years old but still in full strength 
and vigour, he resigned, because, as his brother assures us, "he had always be- 
lieved that a commanding general should lay down his commission in good 
time, so as to make room for the younger men." 

Not the least important of Hindenburg's appointments remains to be men- 
tioned. In 1886 he was assigned to a post in the General Staff and was at the 
same time a professor in the War Academy. Here he lectured for some seven 
years on applied tactics. During the latter part of this time he was also chief 
of the infantry department in the Prussian Ministry of War. Thus his 
experience covered, not only the practical work of commanding troops, but 
also the training of the younger officers, the administering of the affairs of 
the army, and the working out of theoretical problems at the General Staff. 
It is a highly interesting fact — probably more than a mere coincidence — 
that in his lectures he gave much attention to the Masurian Lake region, where 
three of his greatest battles were fought. He worked out a theoretical battle 
in that country and made it the basis of lectures to his students. One of 
these officers has recently told us about that particular work. It included a 
cavalry attack, and upon one occasion the young officers were looking in vain 
on their maps to find feasible roads around the dangerous lakes for that attack. 
Thereupon Hindenburg spoke up: "I would ride with the whole bunch (the 
German is Schlamm, which is quite colloquial in this sense) right between the 
lakes ; the devil himself would not look for us to come out from among those 

General von Pochhammer gives a characteristic illustration of how Hmden- 
burg took his duties as commanding general. It is the custom of the army 
officers to hold conferences on winter evenings to listen to a military paper by 
one of their number. According to Pochhammer these conferences usually 
seem rather perfunctory; at the conclusion of the paper "the commander 
thanks the speaker, and then they all go to the table." Not so under Hinden- 
burg: "He appeared as often as possible, and as soon as the lieutenant had 
concluded he would ask first the captain, then the major, the colonel, and 
finally the generals of brigades and divisions to express their views ; and he 
never failed to give his own opinion at the end." He also tells us that Hinden- 
burg's criticisms of the army manoeuvres — always given to the officers 
immediately after the conclusion of these exercises — were widely known and 
discussed in military circles. 

Wherever we get a view of Hindenburg's inner life during his active military 
career it is that of a man absorbed in his profession, taking a serious view of 
his work, and ever occupied with the possible tasks that the future might 
bring. "When we had free evenings at the Hindenburg house" — so writes a 


woman friend of the family, who saw much of Hindenburg when he commanded 
a regiment in a country town — "he would often sit pondering over maps 
spread out before him on a table, marking movements of troops, directing 
armies, fighting imaginary battles. . . . He often said it was the dream of his 
life to lead an army corps against an enemy." When his only son was an 
infant, the proud father once tossed him up and addressed him thus: "Boy, 
I am already rejoicing at the thought of seeing you with me around the 
bivouac fires in a war with Russia." Later on, it was his habit to keep this 
boy's mind occupied with military thoughts, to accustom him to military 
language. In taking walks across country with his three children he would 
keep the boy playing at soldier, addressing him as "Herr Leutnant," and 
ordering him to carry out evolutions with imaginary troops. His sister 
reports other walks on the old family estate at an earlier period, when the 
ardent young officer was there on furlough ; he would at times halt the family 
party on the ridge of some eminence and nnfold his plans for a battle there. 


When Hindenburg was sent to East Prussia in August his mission was to 
defend it from two invading armies. It cannot be said that he adopted any 
novel principles in discharging his difficult task. He followed the well- 
established rule of German strategists that attack is the best defence. He 
knew that he was opposing an enemy who has traditionally shown a preference 
for defensive fighting, and that he could trust the Russian generals to take 
no bold aggressive steps. When Hindenburg arrived in East Prussia on Au- 
gust 23, two Russian armies had crossed the frontier, moving in the direction 
of Konigsberg, evidently intending to effect a junction there and capture 
this stronghold. The Wilna army had crossed the frontier in the region of 
Eydtkuhnen, which lies on the main line of railway from Berlin to Pet- 
rograd ; it had Httle difficulty, as it advanced westward, in shoving the 
small German Landsturm troops along before it. But, arrived at a line some 
thirty miles east of Konigsberg, General Rennenkampf, its commander, grew 
cautious, intrenched himself, and awaited developments. The Second or 
Narew army, under General Samsonoff, had advanced from the south by way 
of Mlawa and Soldau, and had occupied Allenstein ; but he too grew appre- 
hensive lest he were pushing ahead too vigorously, retired his lines somewhat 
toward the south, and had taken up positions among the western Masurian 

Hindenburg decided to attack this army at once by a double flanking 
movement. While there was nothing novel in this strategy, it was a daring 
venture against an enemy outnumbering the German forces, as Hindenburg 
himself has assured us, by three to one. Another striking display of bold- 
ness and the readiness to take big risks is seen in the fact that he 


drew away most of the troops that had been holding Rennenkampf in check, 
and brought them by forced marches to take part in the fighting. This 
left Rennenkampf in striking distance of the German columns moving to 
the east of AUenstein to turn Samsonoff's right wing, hold the northerly 
defiles between the lakes, and thus prevent him from saving himself by 
effecting a junction with Rennenkampf. Thus the German main attack 
from the south was able to crush in the Russian lines among the lakes, making 
it impossible for Samsonoff to deploy his troops effectively. The columns 
making this movement were also exposed to the danger of attack from fresh 
Russian troops from across the frontier ; and they had, in fact, to beat off such 
an attack before completing the destruction of Samsonoff's army. 

As soon as it had been disposed of, and before the immense booty had 
been fully garnered, Hindenburg began at once to move upon Rennenkampf, 
following the best German strategy of unrelentingly pushing an advantage 
once gained. As it was not possible in this case to repeat an enveloping move- 
ment, Hindenburg directed a part of his forces against the Russian left and 
attacked it vigorously. The main blow, however, was to be dealt elsewhere, 
and this direct attack was only designed to veil it. While the fighting was 
in progress another large force was swinging completely around the south- 
ern end of the lakes for the purpose of gaining access to the Russian rear 
to the east of Angerburg. The ruse was successful, but Rennenkampf soon 
saw his danger, began a hurried retreat across the frontier, and succeeded 
in getting away with much less damage than Samsonoff had suffered. The 
flanking movement in this battle too was attended with grave risks, and 
the German forces making it had also to repel a strong counter-attack from 
a fresh Russian corps that moved up from the south. 

It was not a part of Hindenburg's strategy to push far into Russia then 
and there ; his forces were more needed elsewhere. The Austrians had 
proved unable to hold their ground against the overwhelmingly superior 
numbers that the Russians threw against them in Galicia. Lemberg had 
fallen, Przemysl was invested, and the Russians were steadily pushing west- 
ward against Cracow. It became necessary to inaugurate a counter-move- 
ment to relieve this pressure. Hindenburg therefore transported the greater 
part of his forces by rail to the southwestern corner of Silesia ; and already 
by September 28 he had moved eastward into Russian Poland, supported 
by new Austrian forces that had been assembled at Cracow. His purpose 
was to cross the Vistula, cut the Russian lines of communication, and cap- 
ture Warsaw. At the same time the Austrian armies in Galicia were to 
assume the offensive, drive the Russians before them, and try to effect a junc- 
tion with Hindenburg. These large plans, however, were based upon an under- 
estimate of the Russian strength. Just as Russia's mobilization was far 
advanced before the war began, whereas the German military authorities 


had assumed that the invasion of East Prussia could not develop serious 
proportions till at least a month later than it actually did, so now the Teutonic 
leaders again failed to take an adequate measure of her enormous armies in 
the field. The Austrians recovered a part of Galicia and raised the siege of 
Przemysl, indeed, but with that their offensive was exhausted. They 
failed by far to join hands with Hindenburg, and he was left alone to make the 
attack upon Warsaw. Even so he almost succeeded in capturing the city; 
just when success seemed to be in sight, however, the Russians, who had 
assembled a strong army at Novo-Georgievsk farther down the river, crossed 
the stream and moved upon his left wing. He was finally opposed here by 
forces which, according to a semi-official German statement, outnumbered his 
own army nearly fourfold. At the same time the enemy had greatly 
strengthened his forces farther up stream in the vicinity of Ivangorod, had 
crossed the river, and was threatening Hindenburg's right, the Austrian 
and German troops left to guard the river front having proved inadequate 
to that task. 

It now became necessary for Hindenburg to order his first retreat. But 
how far should he retire .'' In answering that question he was evidently in- 
fluenced more by strategical considerations. Even at the moment when he 
decided to retire before the Russians he was already planning to take up the 
offensive at another point ; and in order to make this new movement most 
effective it was necessary to entice the Russians far to the west. He decided 
to fall back almost to the frontier, beheving that his enemy, misled by the 
flattering urgency of the English and French press for a grand movement 
against Berlin, would follow him as far as he chose to retreat. He did not 
err in that calculation, and while the Russians were slowly plodding across 
a country where Hindenburg had thoroughly destroyed all the railways and 
bridges, he was assembUng an army on the Pohsh frontier to the south of the 
Vistula. Before they had fully taken up their new positions Hindenburg made 
an unexpected thrust into their right flank, defeating an army corps at 
Wloclawek, November 14, and two others at Kutno on the following day. 
This movement soon developed into a promising new offensive. Lodz and 
Lowicz were occupied after tremendous fighting; and the Russian armies that 
had toilsomely pursued Hindenburg across southern Poland were now com- 
pelled to withdraw far to the east. The PoUsh campaign, however, ended 
rather indecisively in the winter's deadlock along the fine of the Bzura, 
Rawka, and Nida rivers. 

But stationary fighting from trenches is not in accord with Hindenburg's 
miUtary principles and predilections. When in the Ministry of War, he 
issued tactical instructions to troop commanders, which contained a warning 
against relying unduly upon field fortifications. At Tannenberg he had 
discarded the field-works in which he found the troops entrenched when he 


took command, and the result justified his tactics. He now continued 
indeed to pound away at the Russian Hnes on the Bzura, as if still trying to 
force his way to Warsaw; but while doing so he was preparing another sur- 
prise — transporting his troops back into East Prussia, where the Russians 
had returned and had again taken up strong positions on a north-and-south 
line a little to the east of the Masurian Lakes. This movement was further 
veiled by reinforcing the Austrians in the Carpathian Mountains and starting 
a vigorous offensive action there. The season also favoured the surprise, for 
who would have expected Hindenburg to gather a great army in midwinter in 
the rigorous climate of East Prussia and offer battle under conditions like 
those that made Napoleon's retreat from Moscow one of the greatest mihtary 
disasters of history ^ 

The plan of this "Winter's battle" resembled that of Tannenberg in em- 
bracing a double flanking movement, but on a much larger scale. When the 
two flanking columns began to move — the one around the southern Masurian 
Lakes, the other from a point about twenty-five miles to the northeast of In- 
sterburg — they were nearly one hundred miles apart ; and they converged 
toward a junction some fifty miles behind the Russian centre. The success 
of this joint action depended upon swiftness of execution. Speed was very 
difficult, however, in the face of furious snowstorms and drifts that blocked 
the roads, with the temperature so low that the soldiers' hands would freeze 
to the metal parts of their rifles. Artillery and ammunition wagons had 
to be placed upon sled-runners ; and deep ravines had to be crossed, where 
it was necessary to let the cannon down on one side and draw them up on 
the other with ropes. Under these frightful conditions the troops advanced 
and fought for nine days, often continuing their marches till late into the 
night. Success crowned their exertions ; in respect to the number of prisoners 
taken the "Winter's battle" stands without a rival in history. 

From the foregoing paragraphs the leading features of Hindenburg's 
strategy and tactics can be deduced. It is his aim to keep ever on the offen- 
sive. Grant himself did not strike the enemy with greater vehemence and 
persistence than Hindenburg ; and, like Grant again, the German field-marshal 
has the habit of shifting the blow to another point once he becomes convinced 
that the obstacles in his immediate front are too great. But Hindenburg is 
favoured by railways as Grant was not. Never before have railways played 
so important a part; and Hindenburg has probably employed them more 
extensively and with better effect than any other commander. He is ever 
searching out the weakest spot in the enemy's lines; and the railways enable 
him effectively to follow Napoleon's strategy of massing superior forces at 
such points and bursting suddenly upon the unsuspecting enemy. In planning 
his battles he shows a marked preference for flanking movements, and both 
boldness and skill in carrying them out. He takes care not to be outflanked 


while himself trying to reach around the enemy's wings. By an unrelenting 
pursuit he seeks to win the greatest possible advantage from his victories ; 
he is not satisfied with merely defeating the enemy, but strives to crush him 

From what has already been said it is evident that Hindenburg makes 
enormous demands upon his troops. Probably no other general ever required 
from his men harder marching and fighting at critical junctures. It is related 
of one regiment at Tannenberg that it marched one hundred and twenty-two 
miles in five days, and then went immediately into the fighting Une; and 
Hindenburg himself has said that some of his troops marched ninety miles 
in four days during the battle of the Masurian Lakes. But his soldiers 
have unhmited confidence in him and are willing to endure hardships for 
the sake of the victory that they always confidently expect. For he in- 
spires them with the belief — as a group of them said after the battle of 
Tannenberg — that "one German is equal to five or six Russians." The feel- 
ing in the ranks was well hit oflF by a wounded soldier in the following words : 
"We had to march and march, and we cursed and thundered; but when 
we reached our goal and everything passed off all right, we thanked God and 
Hindenburg." This confidence, shared alike by officers and men, is based 
upon the knowledge that the field-marshal is himself one of the hardest 
workers among them. He is usually at work till beyond midnight, and 
when important actions are in progress he not infrequently stays up all 
night. He has learned during the war to snatch a few hours of sleep 
at irregular intervals during the day. His hardy constitution — he has 
never been sick for one day — enables him to do this without impairing 
his health. 


Thus far we have seen Hindenburg only as a miHtary man. Is he any- 
thing more than that .'' Has he wider interests than those of the professional 
soldier ? The impression in Germany itself is that he has made himself 
a great general by strictly confining his intellectual interests to his military 
profession. Even his brother admits a "one-sidedness which is his strength," 
though he assures us that the field-marshal takes a lively interest in all ques- 
tions, including art; and that, in his early years, he made water-colours that 
gave promise of a successful career as an artist. Of books that have exerted 
an important influence upon his character we hear nothing in the various 
sketches of his hfe. On the walls of his httle home at Hanover hang re- 
productions of the Sistine Madonna and an antique head of Juno, as foils 
to portraits of the old Emperor William, Frederick III as crown prince, 
Bismarck, Moltke, and the present Emperor. Other pictures — paintings, 
copperplate engravings, lithographs — give a flavour of olden times to the small 


rooms. The furniture is also of antique patterns, and not a few heirlooms 
bespeak his love for his line. 

This last remark suggests one striking feature of his character. Born 
of an old noble family that has given many of its members to the public 
service, military and civil, he takes a reasonable pride in his hneage, yet 
without arrogating to himself any selfish advantage from it. Throughout 
his mihtary career it has been his rule to treat officers and men without 
consideration of birth or family. He always cultivated kindly relations with 
the civilian element of the towns in which he held appointments, showing him- 
self to be no worshipper of the mere uniform, and to be free from caste spirit. 
His family love is a part of his rehgion, and we find both sentiments mingled 
at times. In the letter to his parents written after the battle of Koniggratz, 
already quoted, he expresses his feelings when going into his first action 
thus : "A brief prayer, a thought of the dear ones at home and the old name, 
and then forward." The old home, by the way, does not belong to him, but 
to a near relative; yet he is still deeply attached to it. His parents and 
others of his line are buried there. One of these, his brother, Otto — the same 
whom he advised to adopt the military profession — died some six years ago as 
a retired general. On the first day of the Battle of Tannenberg Hindenburg 
found time to have this brother's body exhumed owing to the nearness of 
the Russian frontier, and because "the grave might be desecrated." 

And he is a deeply religious man. Not Cromwell or Stonewall Jackson 
himself was more firmly convinced of being an instrument in the hands of 
God than is Hindenburg; and the optimistic fatalism begotten of this — just 
as with those two commanders — must be reckoned as an important element 
in his military success. Quotations from his letters in previous paragraphs 
have shown the reader Hindenburg's simple and unaffected manner of ex- 
pressing his religious sentiments. Such expressions are by no means rare in 
his letters and army orders; but he never tires us with them, never mul- 
tiplies them till they begin to seem unreal. There is never a formal confes- 
sion of faith — only a word, and then to other matters. His creed is of a 
more orthodox type than that which has become prevalent in Germany; and 
we do not hear that he has ever been visited by any of the doubts of this 
doubting generation. His religion, so far as we know it, is of the oldest, 
simplest kind. When great crowds gathered in an eastern town to give him 
an ovation after the battle of Tannenberg he merely halted his automobile, 
for a moment, arose, pointed upward, and said: "Thank Him up there"; 
and he rode rapidly away. In a general order issued after the battle of the 
Masurian Lakes this passage occurs : "Give God the glory. He will also con- 
tinue to be with us." The religious note is equally clear in another general 
order of December 30. This latter may be quoted in full here in order to 
show, not only his religious tendencies, but his simple, matter-of-fact style 


of addressing his soldiers under circumstances which would have given some 
other great generals occasion for much high-flown sentiment and vainglorious 
bluster. The order is as follows : 

Soldiers of the Eastern Army! 

It is my heart's desire to express to you my warmest thanks and my fullest recognition of 
what you have accomplished before the enemy during the year now closing. What privations 
you have borne, what forced marches you have made, what you have achieved in protracted 
and difficult fighting, will ever be accounted as among the greatest deeds in the military annals 
of all times. The days of Tannenberg, the Masurian Lakes, Opakow, Ivangorod, Warsaw, 
Wloclawek, Kutno, Lodz, Lowicz, the Bzura, the Rawka, and the Pilica, can never be for- 

With thanks to God who gave us power to accomplish such things, and with a firm reliance 
upon his further help, let us begin the new year. In accordance with our oaths as soldiers we 
will continue to do our duty till our beloved Fatherland is assured of an honourable peace. 

And now let us go forward in 1915, just as in 1914. 

Long live His Majesty, our most gracious commander-in-chief! Hurrah ! 

Although Hindenburg has always kept strictly aloof from politics home 
and foreign, he has on several occasions expressed himself briefly in regard 
to the political aspects of the present war. He has asserted his abiding 
faith in the justice of Germany's cause, believing that she is fighting only 
because it was forced upon her by Russia ; and he holds that Russia was 
abetted by England to the extent that the war would not have broken out but 
for England's promise to help Russia. He has also expressed his unshaken 
faith that Germany and her allies will win. He beUeves in particular that 
Russia will soon be eliminated as an aggressive factor in the general situation. 

Simphcity and directness in all that he does, fidelity to duty, devotion, 
to monarch and country, respect for his fellow-men, love for profession and 
family, unflagging industry, great persistence in carrying out his plans — 
such are the leading outlines of his character. He inspires confidence from 
his subordinates by reason of his moral quahties, as well as his military 
abihty ; they know that he is a safe man, that, though ever ready to undertake 
daring deeds, he possesses a sane judgment of what is possible. He takes big 
risks and obtains corresponding results, but there is nothing flighty about 
the man. He is willing to assume responsibilities and has independence of 
judgment. He consults much with his subordinates, indeed, in order to get 
possession of the facts upon which to base his decisions; but the decisions 
themselves are always his own. And he is not Ukely to be influenced by 
personal or any other considerations than the objective requirements in the 
given case. He does not court popularity, and he does not hke to be lionized. 
"It is a matter of indiff'erence to me," he has recently said, "what kind of 
conception people form of me, if I can but be of some service to my king and 


Professor Vogel, the portrait painter, who spent nearly two months at 
Hindenburg's headquarters making studies for a portrait, has given us a 
first-hand description of the field-marshal in his daily life, with interesting 
observations on his character. He says he had to rise every morning at 6 
or 6:30 o'clock; that Hindenburg tolerates no loafers around him, and is 
himself incredibly busy. He was found to have a keen knowledge of men ; 
he was cautious in his speech, but at the same time frank and open. He 
showed no harsh or coarse sides. "His whole being beams with calmness, 
goodness, light. He is worshipped by all his men ; and this is due not only to 
the fact that he is the great Hindenburg who won phenomenal victories, but 
much rather to the fact that he is a good and amiable man. Although he 
IS loaded down with work and responsibilities, I have never seen him impa- 
tient or nervous. He finds time for everything, appears promptly at meals, 
his private correspondence is quickly disposed of, he sits for his portrait, and 
he finds time to do an endless number of things." 

Vogel observed that Hindenburg made few calls upon the many servants 
placed at his disposal at headquarters, that the meals were of almost puritani- 
cal simplicity, consisting nearly always of one meat course cooked along with 
vegetables, and ending with a cheap grade of cheese. There was hardly any 
variation to this at any time ; even when princely personages were guests at 
headquarters the only usual exception was a glass of champagne. Hindenburg 
found time to give the painter a daily sitting for seven weeks. Another visitor 
at headquarters noted that the field-marshal's door was marked only by the 
word "Chief" — written with chalk. 

In personal appearance Hindenburg satisfies the common ideal of what 
a great general should be. He is six feet tall, has a commanding figure, and 
carries himself with ease and dignity. He has a deep chest, and broad 
shoulders, and the neck is rather short and thick. The chin and lower jaws 
are massive, giving the face a squarish appearance. The mouth, with the 
corners of the lips drawn sharply down, expresses firmness ; and this effect 
is heightened by the moustache, which is allowed to grow out on the cheek 
beyond the corners of the lips. The blue eyes are deep-set, frank, and pene- 
trating, and have a tendency to close when talking or smiling. The forehead 
is fairly high and somewhat flat. It is still surmounted by a good shock of 
hair, which is nearly white and is kept close-cropped. Standing erect, it com- 
pletes the expression of energy and strength borne by his countenance. 

The field-marshal is a man of few words, but he impresses the listener 
with the conviction that what he says is well worth giving heed to. He seems 
to be thinking while he talks, and the deliberate flow of his words leaves the 
impression that his mind moves slowly. The voice is a deep, rich bass. 
Among his comrades he is regarded as a companionable man, but he seems to 
have kept more to his family, when off duty, than is commonly the case with 


officers. He has never even learned to play cards; his sister found it im- 
possible to teach him " sixty-six, " the simplest of German card games. Avoid- 
ing cards, he has also never gambled, thus escaping the temptations that have 
proved the undomg of many a young German officer. We hear of no diver- 
sions except hunting, for which he has a great likmg. The walls of his cottage 
at Hanover are decorated with the antlers of stags slain by his rifle. 

When Hindenburg retired to that cottage only four years ago he thought 
that his career was ended, and he began to write his reminiscences. They 
were intended only for his children, as he did not think that his life would 
interest a wider public. The war rudely interrupted his work. Probably he 
will resume his writing after it is over. Then all the world will be eager to 
read Hindenburg's own narrative of the part he is now playing in the Great 





When Von Hindenburg emerged from obscurity, after his victory at 
Tannenberg, and became supreme chieftain of all the German armies in the 
field, he brought into public notice, as his henchman and alter ego, an un- 
known officer of parts, one Major-General Erich Ludendorff. 

Not long before the war Ludendorff" was an inconsequential colonel, as- 
signed to the dull task of working out routes of march for the army in case of 
hostilities. He belonged to the obscure, colourless world of a routine, followed 
amid the stagnation of small garrison towns. Von Moltke had remarked 
him ; but it was Hindenburg who thrust him into the blaze of fame. 

Ludendorff soon began to bulk large in the German imagination by reason 
of his appomtment as the First Quartermaster-General. This was a new 
office with manifold ramifications, which he coupled with his activities as 
Von Hindenburg's Chief of Staff. In fact without any clash of cymbals he 
speedily became more successful than even his weighty superior, in gratifying 
the German hunger for a demigod. 

Legend, unmellowed by time, clusters thickly about his sudden fame, and 
weaves fantasies out of his prosaic achievements. Hindenburg is great; 
but Ludendorff is greater. He is the Kitchener of Kultur, the new Moltke, 
and if the prophets be truly inspired who read his horoscope, he may become 
another Bismarck. 

Ludendorff's star has shone with the greater effulgence for suddenly 
blazing out from the void, without any premonitory sparkle to arrest the 
world's gaze. But his emergence is easy to understand. The war rescued 
him as it did many another warrior from the tedium of an inconspicuous 
career of routine, and afforded him an unprecedented opportunity to display 
his unrecognized gifts. 

What manner of man is this military genius whom Germany acclaimed as 
the brain of her war machine, with Von Hindenburg as the lever ? Neither 
his genealogy, social position, nor army career is specially enlightening; so 
let us turn to surer ground — his achievements. 

At the war's outbreak he was appointed Chief of Staff to General Von 
Emmich in the invasion of Belgium, and he figured in the Siege of Liege as 



the commander of a brigade. The city fell before his attack, and his success- 
ful entry therein brought him the Ordre pour le Merite from the Kaiser. Pres- 
ently he was withdrawn from further share in the Belgian campaign by being 
chosen as his Chief of Staff by Von Hindenburg, who was operating in East 
Prussia against the Russians. He repaired post haste to that province to 
aid his commanding officer in ousting the foe therefrom, and in invading 
Russia itself at a terrible cost to the Czar's armies. But the famous Battle 
of Tannenberg, of 1914, brought laurels only to Von Hindenburg. Luden- 
dorff so far was in the background. He was merely a part of the war's ma- 

Yet the rise of Von Hindenburg soon exalted LudendorfF also. Perhaps 
Von Hindenburg praised his chief aid in high places by way of generous 
acknowledgment of his indebtedness to LudendorfF's wise counsel in effecting 
the triumphs of German arms in East Prussia. Certainly the word was there- 
after bruited that LudendorfF was Von Hindenburg's thinking machine, the 
man whose ideas soon became reflected on all fronts. His unseen hand, for 
instance, has been credited with arranging the advance on Lodz, as well as 
the first German successes in Galicia, the invasion of Lithuania and Cour- 
land, and the successful Roumanian campaign. 

These triumphs, if LudendorfF actually deserves the credit for them, more 
than warranted the critical attitude he adopted to the war policy of the 
General StafF, to whom his sudden prominence was not welcome. He was 
viewed as a rebel against established military formulas. The General StafF ex- 
communicated him as a heretic. He had no reverence for corporate opinion. 
He scorned military sages with their conferences and their mass decisions. 
He challenged the Von Moltke theory of the science of war, which was that a 
campaign should not be conducted according to the initiative and will of a 
single chief, but rather should be devised from the multiple opinions of a staff 
of experts. A commanding general might issue orders evolved from such 
deliberations, and might accept responsibility for their outcome ; but his 
troops knew the campaign plans were not of their chief's making and that 
he had fathered them without enthusiasm as the collective creation of other 
men's minds. This method of conducting the war was blamed by Luden- 
dorfF, according to his commentators, for whatever ill-fortune visited the 
German forces before his single mind had had its way. At any rate, soon 
after his entree into military counsels as the radical occupant of a new office, 
boldly espousing a viewpoint alien to Prussian military traditions, Germany's 
fortunes in the field changed for the better. The efficacy of a single mind 
was demonstrated in LudendorfF's case, though it might fail in another's. 
Yet always, before LudendorfF, loomed Hindenburg. His were the orders, 
so the documents said, but not their conception. The voice was Jacob's, the 
hand Esau's. 


LudendorfTs supremacy in military organization emphasized Germany's 
dearth of constructive genius in other directions. "This war lacks a genius," 
General Von Falkenhayn once complained at headquarters, and Von Hinden- 
burg, hearing this lament, pointed to his trusted Chief of Staff. Ludendorff's 
services thereafter came to be requisitioned in numberless fields covered by 
the manifold ramifications of the war. Its entire conduct seemed at times 
to rest on his capable shoulders. 

He stepped in to repair the errors made by Von Falkenhayn (when the 
latter was Chief of the General Staff) in the manufacture of munitions. A 
maximum consumption had been estimated, but it fell below the mark. 
Ludendorff set about increasing the maximum, of both production and con- 
sumption. Not only must the amount of guns and ammunition the experts 
deemed imperative be produced, he ordered, but also the maximum quantity 
of which the country's resources were capable. To this end he subordinated 
Germany's entire social and economic life and placed all her industries on a 
war basis, a change that also brought about the mobilization of national 
labour for direct service in the army. Coupled with this last innovation 
was the compulsory employment of Belgians in the face of objections 
made by General Von Bissing and the civil administrators of Belgium, who 
foresaw diplomatic complications if such a step were taken. But the "higher 
military authority" (which was Ludendorff') ordered the impressment of the 
Belgians and there was none who could gainsay him. "Ludendorff ist daftir" 
("Ludendorff is for it") was a phrase that began to pass current as a fore- 
token of momentous decisions in German war policy. They included the 
unrestricted submarine campaign, and the tightening of food regulations 
to meet a scarcity which various food administrators had proved unequal to 

Outside the area of Germany he was no less paramount. In the occupied 
districts of Russia the full control of administration was lodged in him. Such 
varied questions as the new customs tariff for Poland, the regulation of the 
tobacco trade, the new municipal ordinances, came to him for disposal. Here 
was a vast non-military field in which Ludendorff could exercise his adminis- 
trative ability. These things were outside Hindenburg's range, which was 
confined to the fighting fronts and their co-related organizations. In non- 
miUtary affairs Ludendorff projected as Ludendorff without the transparent 
camouflage of Hindenburg's name. 

A superman indeed, if all that was said of him represented the true measure 
of his activities ! An administrative Caesar had arisen, dubbed the real 
"boss" of Germany, a dictator whose utterances went immeasurably farther 
than the pompous rodomontades of the Kaiser. 

The army was Ludendorff. His name filled the mouths of German officers ; 
every mess room contained his portrait; young Heutenants deified him; his 


commendation was deemed more of an honour to a division or corps com- 
mander than the Kaiser's favour. 

From behind a barricade of silence he operated the ramifying wires of 
war and civil administration with his busy fingers. If much was said of his 
innovations and edicts, he did not say it ; though he was not mute. He could 
speak in season. His speech, when drawn from him by events, revealed a 
well-ordered mind, with clarity of vision and sureness of conviction — a mind 
of German structure, it is true, but, unhke the massed mentality of his country- 
men, intelligible to his foes. 

Here, for example, is an exhortation aimed at home critics which is con- 
tained in a letter written before ruthless submarine warfare was determined 
upon : 

"The hopes of our enemies, based on extraordinary simultaneous exertions 
on all fronts, can only be frustrated through mighty efforts on our part. We 
will prevail if the German people stand united behind us and do not demoraHze 
the army by controversies over the expediency of various ways and means. 
Though to the outsider it may appear that the programme on certain questions 
is lacking, this does not prove that the programme is actually at fault." 

Submarine ruthlessness having been decided and acted upon, he justified 
its operation before members of the Reichstag on the occasion of the passage 
of the abortive peace resolution. Flamboyant boasts of starving out Great 
Britain did not come from clear-eyed, practical-minded Germans such as 

"In starting the submarine warfare," he said, "the supreme military 
command was guided by a desire to hit the enemy's war industry, especially 
the production of ammunition." 

This seemed soldierly and feasible. His next remark sounded like a mere 
"bracer" to drooping legislators: 

"Through the submarine warfare, our armies in the West were greatly 
relieved. I'he enemy's production of ammunition was decreased; therefore 
our U-boats fulfilled their task. The cooperation of navy and army proved 
to be perfect." 

Cold reason, not the hopes of a visionary, animated his next utterance : 

"By lessening her tonnage, the supreme army command expects the sub- 
marine warfare to prevent England from making constant preparations for 
conducting the war." 

Less convincing was his continuation of this same train of thought : 

"Fulfilment of this wish will come despite America, and with it the end 
of the World War and the peace that is desired by the supreme command." 

Before he thus hailed the submarine as a dove of peace, Ludendorff^ had 
scouted further pursuit of peace overtures. The Entente Alhes had derided 
them as war ruses, a designation he denounced as an insult. The overtures 


were, on the contrary, honourably and sincerely made, he said ; and having 
been scorned, the only remaining way to procure a satisfactory peace was to 
pursue hostilities. 

"We do not think of peace," he interjected in a conversation a Viennese 
correspondent had with him and Von Hindenburg in the autumn of 1916. 
"We are absolutely decided to continue the war. No way but war leads to 

At that time Russia's numerical strength loomed as a war factor and drew 
from him some apothegms expressing scorn of numbers and other obstacles 
to victory. 

"Numerical superiority and danger exist only for the weak. Who rails 
against fate ought rather to rail against himself. A firm will commands 
destiny. There is no blind fate." 

Such words from such a speaker were doubtless eagerly listened to in 
Germany. They contained psychological stimuli that were sorely needed, 
and they were endowed with a wondrous potency, coming as they did from 
a protagonist in the World War, a doer of deeds, who was recognized as no 
(lere arm-chair theorist. 

As a personality LudendorfF has been viewed from a variety of angles. 
The popular imagination is bent on picturing him as a GoHath, whether he 
really be one or not. H. L. Mencken, on a visit to Germany, found Luden- 
dorfF's countrymen estimating him as worth six Bethmann-Hollwegs, or ten 
Kaisers, or forty Kaiser Karls. The gossip of the cafes thus summed up his 
points : 

"Ludendorff has what you might call a capacious mind. He has imagina- 
tion. He grasps inner significances. He can see around corners. Moreover, 
he enjoys planning, plotting, figuring things out. Yet more, he is free of 
romance. Have you ever heard him sobbing about the Fatherland } Or 
letting off pious platitudes, like Hindenburg } Of course you haven't. He 
plays the game for its own sake, and he plays it damnably well." 

Devoid of sentiment he may be, according to these chronicles ; yet Hinden- 
burg discovered to his astonishment that his aide was partial to poetry and 
a devotee of Strauss. This revelation provides a glimpse of an inner Luden- 
dorff which his stern countenance successfully conceals. One sees there no 
trace of such spiritual excursions. It is rather the face of a poHceman, a 
sentinel, a grim and vigilant watcher on the tower. It is a massive, rotund 
face, with firm-set, authoritative eyes, a high-crowned nose, a terrifying 
mouth, whose unmistakably forceful lines, curling to a ponderous chin of a 
deep indentation, the regulation Prussian moustache does not hide, but rather 
helps to accentuate. Hindenburg rejoices in the candidly brutal physiognomy 
of a bull-dog. Ludendorff's countenance, like Bismarck's, resembles that of 
the equally forceful but more intelligent mastiff. 


LudendorfF plainly does not wear his heart on his sleeve. Therein doubt- 
less lies an explanation of the confusingly various impressions recorded by 
his commentators. By one he is deemed a man of mystery. But is he ? 
No one is credited with knowing him ; yet his activities and utterances in 
the war seem to be self-reveaUng. He has been described as chilly, reserved, 
remote — as lacking charm and social instincts. Yet some visitors to his 
headquarters have found him certainly reticent and discreet, but withal 
suave, up to a certain point approachable, and endowed with a courtesy as 
unfailing as it is becoming. The chief trait they discerned in him was an 
unbending though good-tempered obstinacy, a pride of opinion. With a 
coolness never ruffled, he would listen patiently, show an inteUigent curiosity, 
be amiably receptive, appear convinced, and then cHng to his own view. 

The ultimate impression is that of a capable, tireless, and self-contained 
administrator, efficient in every field, sure of himself, Argus-eyed and Briareus- 
handed, who, in ordinary times, would doubtless pursue his allotted task in 
the background without suspicion, either on the part of himself or his neigh- 
bours, that his performance of them merited any special notice. 

His origin fails to explain him. Nature, to be sure, does not classify men ; 
man's social system does this and often errs in the classification. Blood will 
tell— sometimes ; but blood tells little of LudendorfF. It is true he hails 
from that breeding ground of genius, the middle class ; but his family was of 
no outstanding distinction. It had not even any afiiliation with Junkerdom. 
His name does not even boast the dignified prefix of "Von." His father, in 
fact, while of good Prussian stock mixed with a Swedish and Finnish strain, 
was a modest gentleman farmer of Posen, where the son first saw the light in 
1865. His mother was Pohsh. In 1909 he married a wealthy widow who 
brought him a ready-made family of three sons and a daughter. LudendorfF 
himself is childless. So much for his family record. 

His army career, if less featureless, furnished few high lights to distinguish 
him from numbers of his fellow officers — until the World War. He was a 
cadet at twelve (in 1877); a junior lieutenant in a Westphalian infantry 
regiment five years later; an officer of the German Marine Corps in 1887; 
a student of the Berhn War College (1890-92) ; a military observer in Russia 
in 1894 on a commission that earned for him a captaincy and a place on the 
General Staff". Thenceforth he figured in various military commands, was 
promoted from major to colonel, to major-general, and, after the war began, 
from major-general to lieutenant-general. A generalship of infantry also 
came to him as part of the war's guerdons. Probably the remaining honours, 
that of colonel-general and field-marshal, await him ; and in due course the 
badge of nobihty. 




The map to-day reveals Von Mackensen. The Pan-Germans, pointing 
to it, gloat over the exploits of this veteran leader of the German legions. 
Has he not raged through the neighbouring borderlands and chained them 
by links of cold steel to the Fatherland ? 

Alarmed by a sporadic movement for peace without annexations and in- 
demnities, the Pan-Germans circulated a map among the troops and citizenry 
showing the German position as dominating three fourths of Europe. To the 
southeast this map was blotched by a blackened mass of occupied areas which 
almost obliterated the Balkans. A diminished Russia was shown maimed by 
the amputation of large sections of her western territory. Renounce this 
goodly domain which had been so heroically wrenched from their yielding foes .'' 
Let the German people consider the duty they owed to the conquerors. If 
they would honour the conquerors, let them hold fast the spoils won for the 
Fatherland. Mackensen and Hindenburg would then feel well rewarded. Did 
they not know well who Mackensen and Hindenburg were .? Mackensen 
himself answered that question before a group of Austrian officers at Kovel : 

"We are the two hands of the Emperor William." 

Mackensen's handiwork is the greater. His name is writ large on Serbia, 
Roumania, Galicia, and sections of Poland ; Tannenberg, the Masurian Lakes, 
Warsaw, and the invasion through Lithuania and Courland to Riga — these 
echo the name of Hindenburg. 

Hindenburg assumed the overlordship of Germany's armies. From his 
remote tent his finger, motivated by Ludendorff, directed the disposition of 
his battalions. But Mackensen remained in the field, a seasoned and hoary 
warrior, the handy man of the German Empire. Was there a deadlock to be 
broken, a strategic advantage of the enemy to be overcome, a Juggernaut 
needed to impress the world with the invincibility of German strength .'' 
There was Mackensen, ready and able to ride hard and far to accomplish 
Germany's military will. 

This "Archangel Michael with a flaming sword," as German prisoners 
captured by the Russians in the Carpathian campaign proudly called him, 
is not credited with the gift of devising a campaign from a broad strategic 
perspective. But in the execution of another's plotted and curved plan, 
which he subjects to his own variations in manoeuvres and applied tactics, 
his reputation is unsurpassed. He is a great cavalry specialist, a supreme 
master of tactics, and has written much, with the authority of his special 
knowledge, in his chosen field of military science. In his operations he dis- 
closes the real commander's instinct for tricking a foe, luring him into un- 
tenable corners. He conducts a battle as a game of chess. 


Mackensen has his own method of imposing the weight of his personality 
upon any territory in which he sets foot. When he assumed command of 
the wavering Austrian armies in the Carpathians, to check the Russian ad- 
vance through the passes, he tendered the ineffective Austrian staff — with a 
lip of scorn — an object lesson in German efficiency. He showed how the 
mountain approaches could be made, as he boastfully phrased it, "as red hot 
stairs" to the venturesome Muscovites. The whole Carpathian district he 
declared to be in a state of siege, and he utilized its resources for making its 
defence impervious to attack. New roads and narrow-gauge railroads were 
built in the vicinity of the passes, for which purpose heavy reinforcements 
of German engineering troops were transported and set to work day and 
night, while old men, women, and children were organized into labour squads. 
The passes presently bristled with nests and barricades of an untold number 
of machine guns as part of a defensive equipment which the ill-suppHed 
Russians soon realized they could never hope to overcome. 

The Czar's armies retired beyond the Carpathians and were duly swept 
from Przemysl and Lemberg by Mackensen's legions. The Austrians were 
buttressed by his command ; but he led them with an unconcealed disdain. 
At Kovel, on a front well in advance of his Galician and Polish triumphs, he 
presided at a war council attended by the Austrian high commands and their 
staffs, and assumed a complete mastery over its deliberations. He did not 
trouble himself to disguise the light esteem in which he held his confreres. 
They had better, he told them, submit to the German General Staff. 

"If you have failed to defend your country from invasion," he said curtly, 
"the least you can do is to obey those who have saved you." 

Afterward he had this comment to make of them : 

"In the discussion of plans every one of them is a MachiavelH ; but when 
it comes to execution, they have but straw minds and hands of clay." 

This war council was marked by an incident which — if it be true as re- 
lated — showed that Mackensen did not hold the views of even the Kaiser 
himself in deep reverence. His royal master had despatched a letter to him 
through a noble messenger, Prince Leopold of Bavaria, who waited for an 
answer. Mackensen read the letter to the conference, commenting critically 
on its terms as he did so. Then he became pensive, closed his eyes, and slowly 
shook his head. After betraying these symptoms of boredom and disapproval, 
he rolled up the letter spirally, ignited it at a gas jet, and held it till it burned 
to his finger tips. The Austrian generals looked on mute and awed. The 
princely messenger gasped with amazement. One of the generals finally 
asked why he did not elect to answer the letter. 

"Because I am too old," he answered, "and because I have to look out 
for my reputation as a soldier; I am not going to answer anything." 

Mackensen in the field was plainly a personage to be reckoned with and 


one who would not be gainsaid even by royalty. He was not less so in his 
home commands before the war tested his powers. Once the Crown Prince, 
under the weight of his father's displeasure, was banished to Danzig, where 
Mackensen and his famous huzzar regiment, the Death's Head, were stationed. 
The royal heir was in disgrace, obliged to submit to a regime tantamount to 
being " confined to barracks." He found the ordeal irksome. It was Macken- 
sen's duty to bear with the culprit and the plaints his restraint evoked ; but 
while he treated his charge with the deference due to the latter's high rank, 
he would not relax the regulations. He took great pride in his Death's Head 
Huzzars, and so intimated to the Crown Prince, who, he added, should regard 
himself, not as an object of pity for being banished to serve in that regiment, 
but rather as an immensely privileged person. "There," commented the 
narrator of this incident, "was the Mackensen touch." 

There is another Mackensen, according to those who know him best — 
Mackensen the man, not the soldier. He reveals spiritual fervour and regularly 
attends church; he has delicacy and is skilled in finesse; he can shed real 
tears for a soldier whom he has had shot for insubordination ; he has a sweet 
disposition ; he has a tendency to melancholy, ascribed to the death of his 
first wife ; he has aloofness ; he is not a courtier, as the examples cited suffi- 
ciently disclose; he can be sphinx-like, sheathed in an imperturbable calm; 
he is of a quiet and observing habit ; he is unpretentious. 

All of which is to say that Mackensen is not a Prussian. He has acquired 
nothing of the unenviable quality that reproachful term predicates, though 
he married into the Prussian Junker class. Saxony bred him, and he has the 
build and features of that race. He lacks the expansiveness of Falkenhayn, 
the remoteness of Ludendorff, and the picturesque fury which enables Hinden- 
burg to reveal his soul. In Potsdam court circles he is supposed to be viewed 
as an outsider, probably by choice, if the temperament ascribed to him is any 
criterion. Apparently he lacks the Protean skill of Prussianizing himself 
sufficiently to fulfil the requirements of the Hohenzollern Court. Were he 
more of a courtier, more convivial, of a loud arrogance, less of a student, his 
triumphs would doubtless have made him the leading military personage of 
the war. But when all is said of Mackensen, he remains a field worker. 
He belongs to the fighting front. The army made him, not the court. 

He received his baptism of fire long ago. The army claimed him in the 
dim days of the Franco-German war of 1870, when, a stripling under twenty- 
one, he left his studies to join the colours as a one-year volunteer, serving in 
the ranks of the Second Huzzar Bodyguards as a corporal. From the ranks 
August Mackensen, as he was then, the son of a Saxony country squire, rose 
to the top of the miUtary ladder. He acquired the dignity of "Von" en 
route, and made his way without having attended any of the aristocratic 
army schools that produce the typical German officer. His first Iron Cross, 


which he earned for a daring scouting exploit, dates from that distant period. 
After the war he resumed his studies, but returned to the army in 1873, joined 
the General Staff in 1880, commanded a squadron of dragoons in Metz in 
1887, and became colonel of his old huzzar regiment in 1893. The year 1903 
found him a Heutenant-general in command of the thirty-ninth Division, 
stationed at Danzig, and just before the World War he was the commanding 
general of the seventeenth Army Corps. The war brought him a field-mar- 
shal's baton. Mackensen was born in 1849. By his first wife he had three 
sons — they all served as officers in the war — and a daughter. He married 
again in 1908. 

He was well over sixty before he earned his real laurels, beside which the 
honours of peace days faded to mere tinsel. The Kaiser regarded him as a 
Cerberus of the eastern front. With him and Hindenburg in charge of opera- 
tions there, the All-Highest declared that no Russian could hope to set foot 
on German soil. Since the ill-fated adventure in East Prussia no Russian 
has done so. 



Falkenhayn, predecessor of Ludendorff as the "brain" of the German war 
machine, was once counted a supreme master of strategy. Tributes were 
showered upon him in recognition of his reputed gifts. It was Falkenhayn's 
to plan, and Mackensen's, or Hindenburg's, or another's to do. He was to 
eclipse Moltke, whose shoes he filled after the abortive advance on Paris. 
In the heyday of his tenure of high places as a favourite of fortune, first 
as Minister of War, then as Chief of Staff, Germany looked to him, as she 
later looked to Ludendorff, to steer her legions to their goal. But destiny 
tricked him. German arms, under his guidance, won incomplete and costly 
successes or none at all. 

While his star remained in the ascendant, Falkenhayn was heard of as 
disclosing a tireless capacity for hard work. From dawn till the night watches, 
chroniclers reported him as shackled to his desk in an old French government 
building which housed the German General Staff on the western front. Streams 
of officers passed continually to and fro with reports, and plans for his decision. 
He slept at headquarters with his hand near or on the throttle of the great war 

The beginning of 191 5 found him thus absorbed. There was a German 
corridor to be driven through the Balkans to Turkey. He drove it, or at 
least the enterprise bore his signet. There was the great Verdun offensive 
to be inaugurated, with his protege, the Crown Prince, at its head. He in- 
augurated it. But Verdun was to act as a boomerang. The summer of 1916 
brought omens of imperial disfavour, and Falkenhayn stepped down, to fill a 


lesser role as a commanding officer in the field, to exchange his paper excursions 
in strategy for applied tactics. As such he figured in the invasion of Roumania, 
his army providing one of the nippers of the pincers that closed on that country, 
Mackensen producing the other. Later he was identified with projected 
movements against the British in Turkey; but his activities in this direction, 
whatever they promised, evoked only a vague and fleeting prominence. They 
appeared to be the sputterings of a waning mihtary hght. Von Falkenhayn 
had receded into the background. 

He had entered the graveyard of favourites. Such was the designation 
applied by a Bavarian officer to No. 6 Konigsplatz, in Berlin, when the new 
Chief of Staff passed into that structure to receive from the supreme war 
lord the seals of Von Moltke's office. 

A favourite of high degree, an aristocrat with a far-flung ancestry, a proud 
pillar of the superstructure of Germany's social system, had been discarded 
as a determining factor in the war's conduct. Presumably his voice was not 
hushed in mihtary counsels, since he remained active in the field; but his 
name no longer was shouted from the housetops. 

Perhaps his footing as a court favourite, rather than his mihtary talents, 
determined his selection to fill a supreme role. This might explain his failure. 
A graduate of the War Academy, he had twice before been Chief of Staff, 
but not to the entire army. The only active service he had seen before the 
World War was as an aide to Field-Marshal Von Waldersee in the Boxer 
Rebellion of 1900, following which he remained for three years in China to 
instruct her army officers in German methods. 

Falkenhayn's chief claim upon the Kaiser's notice as an army dignitary 
appeared to have been a trust of great dehcacy and importance which he 
undertook. He was charged with the mihtary education of the Crown Prince. 
At the war's outbreak, Falkenhayn, as Minister of War, saw that the Kaiser's 
heir was placed where he might gain the most credit, if any was obtainable, 
and the least blame, if strictures were to be visited upon any commander for 
mishaps. The vicissitudes of the German arms at Verdun must in conse- 
quence have clouded the record of many subordinate officers, since their 
royal chieftain was immune from reprimand. 

An intimacy grew between tutor and pupil, close enough to suggest that 
the fruitless exploits of the pupil on the Verdun front could conceivably be 
taken as a measure of the tutor's mihtary skill, since a student's performances 
usually reflect his mentor's guidance. The struggle at Verdun, in short, won 
no credit for either tutor or pupil. Caste, probably, explained the bond be- 
tween the two, rather than any mihtary affinity. Falkenhayn's superior 
birth distinguished him. No other officer in high command, said the geneal- 
ogists, could boast so ancient a family. His noble Hneage extended back 
for seven or eight centuries. 


But not even his enemies could say that Falkenhayn was a mere court 
sycophant. On the contrary, he was bold enough to exhibit real independence 
of thought and sturdiness of character in his relations with the Kaiser. He 
was a courtier, it is true : but he was ever a soldier also. Firmness and de- 
cision, the outgrowth of his military upbringing, characterized his every pose 
and gesture. His was not the disposition which readily accommodated it- 
self to another's. He dared to challenge the Kaiser's views and refused to 
surrender his own ; and nevertheless did not antagonize his imperial master. 

A goodly presence is revealed by his portraits, and his famiUars have con- 
firmed as a fact the pleasing personality they indicate. Picture a trim, active 
man of medium build, with all the prime robustness of youthful middle age, 
slender and shapely — in sharp contrast here with the unwieldy bulk of most 
German officers in their mid-years — with close-cropped, iron-gray moustache 
and hair, an alert eye, a winning smile. Ever tingling with energy and 
vitality, he is now agreeable, now irascible ; but always intuitional, aristo- 
cratic to the marrow, venturesome, plunging into situations from which only 
a genius or child of fortune could extricate himself. Without a trace of dis- 
simulation in his character, he is prone to explosions of hearty laughter in 
which his whole frank nature betrays itself winningly. He has a tumultuous 
habit of asking interminable questions when his interest is enhsted. 

The picture is attractive enough to merit more than a passing glance. 
It reveals a rare combination of ability and honesty. Therein lay the secret 
of his power while he enjoyed military distinction. And if his plans went 
astray, they fared no worse than the projects of other capable men in the war. 

Unlike Ludendorff, Falkenhayn was already notable when the war inter- 
posed to invest him with greater dignity. He was no unheralded Lochinvar. 
On the contrary, twelve months before the war, in July, 191 3, the Kaiser 
chose him as his Minister of War. He was the youngest man ever to hold 
this post, he being then only fifty-two. As his military rank had to be raised 
to make him eligible for this office, there was then bestowed upon him the 
brevet of lieutenant-general. 

Soon after his installation, the famous Zabern affair brought him to the 
front as the upholder of the vested privileges of the military against the 
hostiUty of the citizenry. An officer had chastised a cripple for declining to 
show conventional deference to the Kaiser's uniform and the afi'air caused 
sharp debate in the Reichstag. The army's right to ride roughshod over the 
commonalty was violently questioned. 

So Falkenhayn made his first bow before the infuriated Reichstag in the 
role of a diplomat. The affair had shaken military Germany to its founda- 
tions, and on the War Minister was imposed the duty of defending the divine 
right of colonels in almost his maiden speech before the legislature. He faced 
the task with an unflinching vigour. Caught amid the Reichstag's roaring 


inalgnation, he stood his ground like a real soldier, and refused to be cowed 
by the storm that raged round him. He displayed genuine parliamentary 
talents in his defence, and his unterrified espousal of the military caste's 
vested rights did much to bolster up the army's position after the Reichstag 
had registered a vote of mistrust against Chancellor Von Bethmann-HoUweg. 
Altogether Erich G. A. S. Von Falkenhayn may be classed as a fine type 
of the Prussian officer of the higher grade. As for his personal life, he is 
mated to a domestic wife who conducts his household on lines conforming 
to the Kaiser's notions of the true functions of German women. He has 
two children, a boy and a girl, both young.